Pentagon Ditching BlackBerry For iPhones, iPods and iPads?

Will the Pentagon stick with BlackBerry, will it go with Apple's iPads and iPhones, or a mix of both — with some Windows 8 devices thrown in for good measure? There has been a lot of speculation this week that Apple surged ahead for U.S. Department of Defense business.

Pentagon employees are currently using nearly a half-million BlackBerries, and with BlackBerry announcing that one of its customers — who it is, we don't know — has pre-ordered a million Z10 devices, it wouldn't be too farfetched to assume it was the U.S. military.

However, Electronista cites "well-placed sources" inside the Department of Defense's mobile device testing program that the Pentagon would order 650,000 iOS devices: specficially, 210,000 iPhones, 200,000 iPods, 120,000 iPads and 100,000 iPad minis, Mashable reports.

This would mean Apple would supplant BlackBerry's 470,000 devices currently in use at the Pentagon and at its locations around the world. The purchase wouldn't be made until the cuts imposed by the sequester were through, and the BlackBerry 10 would effectively have been a victim of the sequester, because the Pentagon wouldn't be able to test the new OS, according to Mashable.

The Pentagon has denied Electronista's report, according to Wired's Danger Room blog. "There is no truth to this claim," said Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for the Pentagon's new mobility initiative. "We are not looking to replace those 470,000 BlackBerries with the systems they claim we're looking to order ... Every couple weeks, there's another report that we're abandoning BlackBerries, and that is just so far from the truth."

However, Wired's Spencer Ackerman writes that the Pentagon may be seeking to diversify its mobile device usage. He writes, "the Defense Department is still shopping around ... Mobile companies won't even get the Pentagon's new data-security guidelines for another 90 days."

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