Department of Defense employees will soon be able to use smartphones from Apple and Samsung on the job. Specifically, Apple’s iPads and iPhones as well as Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones will be granted security approval from the Pentagon according to sources familiar with the plans as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
It’s good news for both companies as they have been trying to win over US defense agencies for some time. At present, the market is still dominated by BlackBerry handsets. It’s a sizeable market as the Defense Department contains more than three million employees. Not all of them are issued handsets, however.
The two companies would reportedly have to go through a different set of security tests because Samsung handsets use Google’s Android operating system. The open-source operating system is seen as more vulnerable to security breaches while Apple’s proprietary operating system is deeded more secure. BlackBerry is also having to go through another approval process as newer devices like the Z10 and Q10 run on a new operating system.
Sources told the publication that Apple devices running iOS 5 and iOS6 will be granted clearance. The former, however, would be restricted to an “as needed” basis subject to hardware modification.
A number of government agencies have already approved the use of iPhones and iPads for employees but a nod from the Pentagon would allow more security-sensitive agencies to start using them. A spokesperson for Apple and Samsung both declined to comment.