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FBI and US Navy set to sign deal with Samsung in fresh blow to BlackBerry

South Korean tech giant Samsung is set to sign a deal with two US agencies, the FBI and US Navy, to supply its Galaxy devices, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The devices will come preloaded with Samsung's Knox security system, which provides enhanced security to the Android OS and can ensure that only software verified and authorised by the agencies can run on the devices.

The move will be a blow to the ailing BlackBerry as the FBI predominantly uses the Canadian firm's smart phones for its 35,000 employees at present.

If a shift to Samsung Galaxy devices becomes a trend in US agencies, it will become an even bigger issue for BlackBerry. Of the 600,000 US Department of Defense staff that are handed smartphones or tablets, a vast majority of around 470,000 use BlackBerrys, with just a minority using Apple or Android devices.

BlackBerry has long been used by the US Department of Defense and the new BB10 operating system was quickly cleared for use in May. However at the same time Samsung Galaxy devices running Knox were also cleared with Apple's iPhone and iPad given the ok shortly after, meaning the companies are now competing for the lucrative contracts.

"Other systems are maturing in their capability to provide greater security with their systems. The level of security with BlackBerry has been above most, but others are moving toward that and are achieving that," Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Department of Defense spokesperson recently told Apple Insider.