Apple takes on Samsung and BlackBerry in US military

Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone and iPad are furthering their influence outside the consumer space, having been cleared for use within the US military by the Department of Defence.

The breakthrough could be significant to the less-documented but highly lucrative mobile wars that take place in the corporate and public sectors, as Apple competes with key rivals Samsung and BlackBerry for profitable supply contracts.

BlackBerry’s business-friendly handsets and tightly secured software have seen it dominate the non-consumer mobile sphere for a number of years, and its latest BB10 platform has already been cleared for use at the Pentagon. But Apple’s arrival and the approval of Samsung devices earlier this month means competition is now fierce at the DoD, and indeed other businesses and agencies across the world.

Apple and Samsung nevertheless have a lot of ground to make up in the DoD device pool, with BlackBerrys currently accounting for 470,000 of the departments 600,000 mobile products in use. 41,000 of the devices are manufactured by Apple, while 8,700 run Google’s Android OS.

This number may soon be rising however, with Bloomberg reporting that Samsung has been working with the US National Security Agency to create a secure version of Android – a platform traditionally maligned for its poor security.

We’ve weighed up the workplace merits of both BlackBerry and Samsung’s mobile systems over recent months, analysing whether a secure BlackBerry 10 platform could reaffirm the company’s enterprise dominance, and if Samsung Knox will see Android taken more seriously in the business world.