DOD lays groundwork to install over 160k iOS and Android devices, capacity could hit 8 million

In December, we heard reports that the Pentagon had officially certified an Android device and Android 2.2 for use on Defense Department networks. According to a report from The Washington Postciting a recent document posted by the Defense Department, the Pentagon is hiring contractors to securely manage a combination of at least 162,500 iOS and Android devices. The document also noted the project could expand up to 8 million mobile devices:

The project is “a significant step towards delivering a secure mobile communications capability’’ to the entire agency, according to the document… The plan opens the door for the military to provide alternatives to BlackBerrys. RIM has clung to government business as an area of strength as consumers and some businesses switch to rival devices with bigger touch screens and faster browsers.

According to Wikipedia, the DOD had about 3.23 million total employees as of 2009. This is obviously yet another blow to RIM, which already has many devices on the network, but according to a statement from RIM’s Vice President of Government Solutions Paul Lucier: “Military left BlackBerry compatibility off its requirement list because it already has a RIM system to manage the devices.” He also said the company is excited for the possibility of government using BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to manage iPhones and Androids on its networks.

Earlier this year, we showed you how the United States Air Force was deploying iPads as Electronic Flight Bags and had difficulties using non-Windows devices to do so.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.