The U.S. Department of Defense will order 650,000 iOS devices to replace older BlackBerry devices that are incompatible with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system after the sequester is over, reports Electronista.
The DOD will order 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, and 210,000 various iPhones models. Electronista has been told that “more than half are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon].”
There are currently 470,000 BlackBerry devices in daily use by the DoD, none of which operate on BB10 because funds originally earmarked for the new OS have been eliminated by the sequester. The DoD estimates that there will be 8 million smartphones in service over the next three years, and most devices used to handle classified data have been subjected to pricey modifications that increase their final cost up to four times.
BlackBerry devices using the previous OS were also expected to be incompatible with the DoD’s new mobile plan implemented last month by the Pentagon, which issued a “device agnostic” memorandum meant to help DoD smartphone users, ranging from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to soldiers on the battlefield, more smoothly share classified data. The memo came nearly four months after the U.S. government said that the company, then known as RIM, would no longer have the exclusive contract for smartphone devices at the Department of Defense.