DoD to grant Apple’s iOS 6 & Samsung Galaxy devices security approval for widespread use by US government agencies

DOD-iPad-USThe iPhone and iPad have already been cleared for use by a number of US government agencies, and in February the US Defense Department confirmed plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports the DoD is about to grant two more important security approvals that could increase the number of agencies allowed to deploy iPhone, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy devices:

The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, the agency that sanctions commercial technology for Pentagon use, is set to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, preloaded with Samsung’s Knox security software, conforms with the Pentagon’s so-called Security Technology Implementation Guide, according to people familiar with the approval process. That would allow it to be used by some Pentagon agencies for things like sending and receiving internal emails, according to these people.

Separately, DISA is expected to rule that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, conforms to a different security-requirement guide, these people said. That would allow iPhones and iPads to be used by military agencies for nonclassified communications, like email and Web browsing.

The report from WSJ explained Samsung has been steadily increasing its attempt to break into corporate and government markets by hiring a new team of security experts and former RIM employees to reach out to Western governments and corporations: Read more

US Defense Department confirms plans to roll out 100K iOS and Android devices by next year

DOD-iPad-USWe heard reports in October that the U.S. Department of Defense was preparing to approve a large number of iOS and Android devices for use on government networks. Those reports were followed earlier this month with news that CACI International Inc. was modifying thousands of iPads for use in U.S. government agencies. The Pentagon confirmed in a statement today that it plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year:

The Pentagon said it wants employees to have the flexibility to use commercial products on classified and unclassified networks. It plans to create a military mobile applications store and hire a contractor to build a system that may eventually handle as many as 8 million devices.

The move comes as iPad and other iOS devices continue to be adopted by government agencies over BlackBerry. Documents from October revealed the U.S. Department of Defense planned to deploy up to 8 millions devices partially made up of iOS devices, while a number of other U.S. agencies also switched from BlackBerry to iPhones over the last year. As for the App Store and system for managing the up to 8 million devices, the DOD will select one or more companies by summer to develop the necessary software: Read more

Apple renews efforts in India with increased distribution, marketing & installment plans

Apple-India-Monthly-Plans

Despite comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook last year about India remaining a lower priority than many other emerging markets, a report from Reuters today detailed how Apple is “aggressively pushing” the iPhone in India through payment plans and a new marketing campaign. Cook suggested last year that India wasn’t the biggest international focus for Apple and multi-layer distribution in the country “really adds to the cost of getting products to market.” According to Reuters, on top of an aggressive marketing campaign and payment plans, Apple also aims to increase the distribution channels Cook mentioned last year: Read more

CACI neutering thousands of iPads for use in government

iFixit-iPad-4According to a report from Bloomberg, Arlington, Va.-based CACI International Inc., is working with Apple to secure thousands of iPads for use in U.S. government agencies. CACI Chief Executive Officer Dan Allen referred to the modified devices as “neutered iPads” and hinted the company is working to implement security features related to wireless connectivity and the camera. CACI specializes in providing IT solutions to government, although it didn’t state how exactly the iPads are being secured, but it did note that it’s a hardware solution and not software:

“It’s a neutered iPad,” Allen said today during a meeting with Bloomberg Government reporters and editors. “We’re working on how do we effectively brand it.”

The move comes as iPad and other iOS devices continue to be adopted by government agencies. In October, documents revealed the U.S. Department of Defense planned to deploy at least 162,500 devices partially made up of iOS devices, while a number of other U.S. agencies also switched from BlackBerry to iPhones over the last year. Read more

Apple maintains lead as top smartphone vendor in US, hits 20 percent of worldwide PC market

Following a report from Strategy Analytics earlier this month that had Apple as the No.1 mobile phone vendor in the United States for the first time, research firm comScore is out today with its stats for the three-month period ending in December 2012. ComScore looked at the top smartphone subscribers by OEM and the top smartphone platforms, which doesn’t include mobile phones other than smartphones like Strategy Analytics’ report.

According to the report, Apple was able to increase its share from 34.4-percent in the September quarter to 36.3-percent last quarter. Samsung also increased its share—although was significantly behind Apple but still up from 18.7-percent in the quarter before—to 21 percent of the market. HTC, Motorola, and LG rounded out the last three spots in the category with 10.2-percent, 9.1-percent, and 7.1-percent of the U.S. market in December. While Apple was able to grab the top smartphone vendor position, Android maintained its lead over iOS as the top smartphone platform during the quarter.

Google captured 53.4-percent of smartphone subscribers with Android in Q4, up from 52.5-percent in September. In comparison, Apple came in at 36.3-percent and posted a slightly larger increase than Android with two points from 34.3-percent the quarter before. Growth for iOS and Android, like in previous months, comes at the expense of declines for BlackBerry and Microsoft.

Canalys also released a report today that tracked worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter—a category that also includes iPads. According to the report, Apple continued its lead in the PC market by hitting over 20 percent for the first time with over 27 million units shipped. Macs accounted for 4 million of those units, while the report estimated iPad mini made up about half of the remaining 23 million iPads:

Read more