Samsung Galaxy S4 gets Pentagon approval, breaking BlackBerry’s hold on the US government

Samsung Galaxy S4 gets Pentagon approval, breaking BlackBerry’s hold on the US government

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S4 has received security approval from the US Department of Defense (DoD), making it the company’s first device to gain US government certification. The endorsement also covers Samsung’s Knox security system and clears the way for the device to be used as part of a new policy for US government staff, as Korea’s Yonhap News reports.

This approval is in line with a DoD announcement from February that will open its communications networks to smartphones and tablets from Apple and Google by February 2014.

Samsung’s news come one day after BlackBerry announced that the DoD had cleared its new line of BlackBerry 10 phones, and its existing line of PlayBook tablets for use. That news was a boost to the struggling Canadian device maker, but it will have to make do with sharing its position in government with Samsung and Apple; a DoD spokesperson said the latter’s iPhone and iPad devices should gain approval this month.

It was previously reported that the White House is ready to swap its fleet of BlackBerry smartphones for a more flexible option that lets employees choose from Samsung’s Galaxy range, or Apple’s iPhone and iPad products. That Samsung is now certified for use within the Department of Defence is proof that the growth of the Korean company and the BYOD (bring your own device) trend has changed the BlackBerry-only mentality in the US government.

Reuters reports that the Pentagon has a fleet of around 600,000 smartphones, of which 470,000 are BlackBerry devices. The majority of the 41,000 Apple and 8,700 Android devices are involved in pilot or test programs.

Samsung is upping its focus on business and enterprise users — having launched a new global marketing campaign this week, and it would be a hugely symbolic win if the company were able to make a dent in BlackBerry’s position with the US.

The company unveiled the much-anticipated Galaxy S4 at a media event in New York in March. The device went on sale in 60 countries late last month.

The phone is a follow-up to the Galaxy S3, which passed 40 million channel sales in January. That milestone was well timed and it put Samsung’s Galaxy S series past 100 million channel sales. This time around, Samsung is expecting even bigger things from flagship phone, and breaking into the US government would be a mark of its progress.

Headline image via Greg Wood /Getty Images

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