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Pentagon OKs Samsung, Blackberry devices for government use

Pentagon OKs Samsung, Blackberry devices for government use
BlackBerry 10, the latest version of the Canadian company's smartphone, has been approved for use by the Defense Department. But that doesn't mean any orders have been placed. (Nathan Denette / Associated Press)

In a closely watched move, the U.S. Defense Department has approved BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and Samsung Knox, the enterprise softwares made by the two smartphone companies.

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for the department, told Reuters that the Pentagon also expects to approve the use of Apple's iOS 6 mobile platform in the next few weeks.

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Blackberry has long been the dominate device for government use. But with the latest approvals, a three-way battle is expected between BlackBerry, Apple and Samsung for Defense business. According to the Reuters report, there are 470,000 BlackBerry users, 41,000 Apple users and 8,700 Android users in the department.

None of the approvals, however, mean any orders have been placed. The types of devices that are purchased will be decided on by groups within the department, the report says.

The Pentagon said it decided to open its network to more device platforms in order to ensure it didn't lock itself into use with just one company. The department also wanted to make sure it had access to the latest technology.

"This is a significant step towards establishing a multi-vendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems," Pickart told Reuters in a statement.

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