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BlackBerry Responds to US Air Force Replacing BlackBerrys with 5,000 iPhones

Air Force Logo - Silver and Blue 3D, with text

Yesterday the US Air Force was reported to have replaced 5,000 legacy BlackBerry phones for Apple iPhones. This is all part of an effort to move all Air Force phones to iPhones. Supposedly “In order to keep costs down and save on network resources, BlackBerrys will be turned in and shut off once the user is transitioned to an iOS device." Any new BlackBerry provisioned after Jan 1 will require a waiver.

Now BlackBerry has responded to a request by CrackBerry for a statement on the Air Force move. Here is what BlackBerry had to say:

The ongoing threat of cyber attacks requires organizations to be vigilant about mobile security. For customers that have the highest security requirements, such as those in government, there is nothing more secure than a BlackBerry device managed by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

There is a clear reason why BlackBerry has more government certifications than any other vendor, and the only enterprise mobility management vendor and handset maker to receive the Department of Defense “Authority to Operate” certification. Security is built into everything we do, and we’ve been doing it longer and better than anyone else.

We’ve been a trusted partner to government agencies for more than a decade, and have more than 80,000 BlackBerry devices in DISA alone. Our competitors have not been tested in the field or subjected to the long term rigors of high stress applications, making their security model difficult to trust. BlackBerry remains the best option for governments around the world.

In other words BlackBerry is holding strong to their statement of being the most secure option. Still they need to stem this tide of ultra sensitive organizations considering other options.

15 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Keeping it at an objective perspective, I know for a fact as the article states that a BlackBerry is more secure than any other vendor, but is it more efficient is the key question you should be asking when it comes to moving forward. Government entities are like any other private entity, they like being secure but a device that will allow them to feel somewhat secure and yet remain efficient within the tech world and it’s third party applications will prevail. I hope BlackBerry can step it up!

  2. Yup BlackBerry needs to up their game since their biggest weakness is the limited app ecosystem

  3. BlackBerry and especially BlackBerry 10 is highly efficient. I work for two different types of business and the BlackBerry keeps me on top of both of my offices. One of BlackBerry problems is poor marketing, the devices do more than people are aware. I have been in meetings with Iphone users and Android Users and was pulling up documents, having emails sent, setting appointment and find information on the internet with speed and ease and because I am using an Otter Box cover people think I am using an Android only to be astonished that it is a BlackBerry. For professional and security purpose nothing is greater than a BlackBerry. For entertainment, gaming, Iphone and Android have the apps. And to be clear I am not trashing the Iphone or Android, What I am saying is that BlackBerry is an efficient devices, it gets the job done with speed, ease and class. I speak as a power user as an executive of two organizations. The Air Force states that the reason for the change is cost, well I wonder is it cost or do they just want more apps to play with.
    Peace.

    • Secretly, people love to entertain themselves. They want their toys and they want to mix business with as much pleasure as possible. This is why iPhones are popping into the boardrooms and coffee rooms. However, most people don’t know that BlackBerry 10 devices can be an awesome gaming platform too. They don’t know that BlackBerry 10 is built for the future and can do multimedia as good as or better than anyone else. If you doubt, check how good the native browser is: http://blog.newrelic.com/2014/02/19/browser-wars-trends-year-year-comparison/
      What is missing is someone standing on the Empire State Building with loudspeaker in hand. BlackBerry has to tell the world how good they are – and they are good!

    • Thank you Timothy Mitchell. My thoughts exactly.

  4. Us air force needs a lot of iphone ecosystem(App) in order to fight

  5. “to keep costs down and save on network resources”.

    Last time I checked iPhone’s are significantly more expensive then BlackBerrys, they also will have to use BES10 or another MDM system to manage the iPhones, so I don’t see how this move saves any money or network resources.

  6. I do not know about in Canada or other countries but basically in the USA nobody except BB users are even aware Blackberry is in business. There is zero marketing being done. Every day all day iphone and Samsung ads. You don’t even know they are carried by Verizon and AT&T when you go in their stores. People are amazed when they see what my Z10 can do but it ends there. They would never think of getting one. If BB is going to continue to only rely solely on the security aspect then that is a losing battle. This move by the USAF shows that security is not the primary concern and even if it was it will be a short time until the others catch up and it becomes an even playing field.

  7. Marketing will be key as well as streamlining and integrating the BB10 phones and phasing put the BB7 phones.

  8. Here’s something the Air Force should read before they make an iMistake! http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA1L01Y20140222?feedType=RSS&irpc=935

  9. Am I the only one who missed the “response” to the Air Force’s decision in BlackBerry’s statement? This was just a general statement about BlackBerry security. It didn’t address the decision in the slightest bit.

    That aside, being that BlackBerry is the only company with Authority to Operate on government networks, those iPhones will have extremely limited capabilities on those networks. They won’t be used in any secured communications capacity or by any high-level-security personnel. And pulling from personal experience in the military, with such a small order of iPhones, this is probably just an evaluation. The devices are not likely to stand up to scrutiny.

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