This past year, the United States Government has been slowly phasing out its old RIM devices in favor of new, modernized iOS and Android products. In fact, there was already a news story earlier this year that showed how the United States Air Force was using iPads as “Electronic Flight Bags.” And I think that many expected that the powers that be would eventually phase out all of their RIM products completely in favor of iOS and Android devices.
According to new reports, it seems that “this expected day” is finally materializing from rumor to reality. A new document posted by the United States Department of Defense expresses how the government plans on hiring contractors to securely manage a mixture of 162,500 Android and iOS devices that will be placed in the hands of Pentagon employees. There is no word, however, about how many of each device there will be (iOS or Android), or exactly what the devices are (phones, tablets, etc). The document also gave statements that the DOD could bring in approximately 8 million devices total before the technology revamp is completely done.
A clip from the Washington Post (regarding the document) states the following concerning the project:
“The project is ‘a significant step towards delivering a secure mobile communications capability’ to the entire agency, according to the document … The plan opens the door for the military to provide alternatives to BlackBerrys. RIM has clung to government business as an area of strength as consumers and some businesses switch to rival devices with bigger touch screens and faster browsers.”
This is definitely just another “nail in the coffin” concerning the relationship between RIM and the United States Government. It’s also no secret that RIM has been struggling substantially lately, and that this “changeover” is really going to push them further down the ranks of consumer technology. We will keep you updated as soon as we receive more news concerning the project.