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Blackberry Bets Big on the Defense Department

The Pentagon is outfitting military networks with software to support tens of thousands of BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones this year, according to the Defense Department and Blackberry officials who, in recent days, have announced the company will sharply scale back commercial sales.

Defense has one of the more sweeping plans among federal agencies to equip employees with brand-name mobile devices that can provide ubiquitous data access and custom apps. Before the Canadian company’s sales model shift, Defense already had sanctioned the BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets for use on military networks. 

Despite BlackBerry’s new business direction, “to date, DoD has seen no impact to its Blackberry’s services,” Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said in an email on Tuesday. 

BlackBerry on Friday announced the new strategy, which hinges on sales to large enterprises, such as the federal government, rather than personal shoppers, who largely purchase Apple iPhones and mobile devices based on Google’s Android operating system. 

Read more at Nextgov.