According to the DISA, the U.S. military currently has more than 600,000 commercial mobile devices in operational and pilot use.
The Pentagon approved the use of Apple iOS 6 devices on U.S. military networks Friday, according to a statement from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
This approval means that Apple will now be competing with Samsung and Blackberry for military sales, reports Bloomberg, noting that the U.S. military has long relied on Blackberry to protect sensitive data.
According to the DISA, the U.S. military currently has more than 600,000 commercial mobile devices in operational and pilot use, including about 470,000 Blackberries, 41,000 Apple Operating Systems and 8,700 Android Systems.
The DISA notes that the approval of Apple mobile devices for use on U.S. military networks is a major step toward creating a multi-vendor environment, supporting various devices and operating systems. The Pentagon wants a multi-vendor environment because it means that the most advanced technology would be available to meet U.S. military mission requirements.
According to The Washington Post, the DoD is not the first government organization to approve the use of Apple devices for work. The State Department, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have also approved the use of Apple and Android devices for work.
The Post notes that prior to Friday’s announcement, the DoD was testing the ability of iPhones and iPads to protect sensitive data in a pilot program.
DISA spokeswoman Alana Johnson told CNET that the DoD is trying to approve devices for use on U.S. military networks before they become publicly available. Johnson added that the DoD is trying to change the approval process, known as the DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide, so that great technology can be utilized before the market has changed.
If you were in charge of the military would you purchase Apple, Samsung or Blackberry products? Why did it take so long for the Pentagon to approve Apple iOS 6 devices? Share your thoughts in the comments section.