Coming soon to a Department of Defense near you?
Apparently, the US Department of Defense has finished up a mobile device testing program, and has put together a pending purchase order for Apple’s iOS devices, according to a report at Electronista today. While the order won’t happen until after the government sequester, it will include just over 650,000 iOS mobile devices from Apple.
The report also says that while Blackberry 10 devices were originally part of the plan, they’ve been cut to save money. However, Electronista also reports that “sources familiar with the matter” say that the department’s needs for mobile devices can’t wait, so the order will move forward after the sequester.
The final breakdown of devices, according to the report, shows 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, with the other 210,000 devices planned as various iPhone models. Specific capacities and hardware capabilities were not part of the report, but will likely be available when the order actually goes through.
The sources do report that over half of the planned iOS devices “are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon].”
A different source “familiar with the situation” said that the iOS devices were ment to replace alost all of the older BlackBerry devices that are now incompatible with newer Blackberry 10 software. Some statistics show that of the 470,000 BlackBerry devices currently in use by the US Department of Defense, none of them use the new BlackBerry 10 OS.
New technology purchases in the US government have been pared back due to the sequester, and Dell and Google are reporting increased service calls to US government offices. Many hardware purchases have only been delayed, not cancelled, but the sequester is affecting IT budgets at a higher rate than other areas of government spending, says the report.