This is some really bad news for BlackBerry from one of their most stalwart customers. The Army currently has about 100,000 government issued phones and about 70,000 of them are BlackBerrys issued to senior officers. Lt. Col. Ed Mattison, Army CIO/G-6 cyber security directorate and mobility technical lead, stated that there will be no “top down orders” to switch from one device to another and it will be up to each individual command to make the decision.
Here is the gist according to National Defense Magazine:
Come Jan. 1, those in the Army who want to make the switch from the current legacy BlackBerry devices to the new BlackBerry10 will be able to do so when new servers come online. However, on the same day, an 18-month pilot program that had about 3,500 Android and iOS enabled devices will be transitioning to initial operating capability and will be able to support some 50,000 non-BlackBerry phones.
In other words just as BlackBerry 10 support comes live they will be opening up the doors to iOS and Android devices. Mattison went on to say that:
"DISA is a customer focused organization so as long as their customers want BlackBerry services, it will continue to provide them,"
On the other hand he put out the dire prediction that:
"We expect over the next several years that the majority of users that are currently using BlackBerrys will migrate to an iOS or Android device and they will leave the BlackBerry service and go to the new DISA mobility service," he said. Some commands are taking that option right away. One will be switching its 10,000 BlackBerry devices to Androids on Jan. 1, Mattison said.
BlackBerry better be out there convincing commands that the BlackBerry 10 devices are nothing like the legacy devices officers currently have…
image credit: Gazette