Following sketchy reports that the U.S. Department of Defense was preparing to purchase a number of iPhones and iPads, while decreasing support for BlackBerry devices, official Department of Defense spokesperson Lt. Col. Damien Pickart has denied the rumor. Speaking with PCMag, Pickart said the report that it is dropping support for BlackBerry is “in error” and pointed to the department’s recently released plan for supporting multiple platforms going forward:
“The department is aware of recent reporting that asserts it is ‘dropping’ BlackBerry. This reporting is in error. The department recently released its mobility strategy and supporting implementation plan, which clarifies we are moving towards a mobile management capability that supports a variety of devices, to include BlackBerry,”
Pickart also confirmed that he is not aware of any plans to purchase large quantities of iOS devices from Apple as claimed in the original report:
“[O]ur mobility experts are looking into what has been reported and are not familiar with the figures quoted in that report/article,… A key objective of the plan is to establish a department-wide mobile enterprise solution that permits the use of the latest commercial technology such as smartphones and tablets, and the development of an enterprise mobile device management capability and application store to support approximately 100,000 multivendor devices by February 2014,”
The Pentagon already confirmed last month that it plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from both Apple and Google by February 2014. At the time, it said the network consisted of mainly non-Apple and Google devices with 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 Apple products, and 8,700 Android devices. Pickart verified to PCMag on Thursday that those numbers remain the same.