In a new report from The Washington Post based on a document by the Defense Department, the Pentagon is reported as tapping contractors as it preps to deploy at least 162,500 iOS and Android devices, potentially expanding to up to eight million devices. It’s another blow to Canada-based Research In Motion, which despite its single-digit smartphone share in the United States still enjoys a relatively large, albeit diminishing following amongst governmental agencies. This would mark the first time the Pentagon opened its network to iPhones and Android devices…
According to the article, The Defense Department is planning to hire a contractor to build a system that will manage and secure at least 162,500 Android and iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads.
The Pentagon wants to allow employees to access its network with a broader range of mobile devices so it can “take advantage of the increasing wireless capabilities that exist and that are developing in the marketplace,” according to the contracting document.
While the Defense Department is not insisting that contractors propose systems that can manage RIM devices, it “desires” a system that can also handle BlackBerrys, the document stated.
This doesn’t bode well for RIM and its customers large and small.
The BlackBerry stigma is evidently a problem in workplace as BlackBerry-totting subordinates and staffers endure mockery from their superiors who carry shiny new iOS and Android devices on them.
Just recently, both the U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement agency and government consultant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. confirmed plans to drop a total of nearly 50,000 BlackBerry handsets in favor of iPhones and devices powered by Google’s Android software.
RIM stubbornly insists that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as it readies first BlackBerry 10 smartphones for the first quarter of next year, following numerous delays.
It may be easier said than done – once your core base starts abandoning your products in droves, there’s little you can do to prevent the outfall. RIM begs to differ, its senior vice president of BlackBerry security, Scott Totzke, remarking in an April interview:
Compared to the enterprise over the last year and a half or so, the federal business on whole is up. The employee base is shrinking, so if we’re looking at a market with fewer employees and our install base is stable to slightly up, that would seem to indicate that we have an increasing market share.
Some math, eh?
As much as I appreciate and like RIM, they are mostly written off in my book.