Apple’s iOS devices have today been cleared for use on United States military networks by the Defense Department, Bloomberg reports. The move comes after Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 and the latest devices from BlackBerry gained government clearance earlier this month.
The Defense Department said in a statement today that it has approved iOS devices — including the iPhone and the iPad — running Apple’s latest iOS 6 operating system. These will join the 41,000 Apple products already in use by the Defense Department.
The Pentagon has traditionally relied on BlackBerry devices, which are famous for their security, and it has more than 470,000 of them in its network. But BlackBerry’s latest smartphones will now face competition from the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone when it comes to government use.
The military wants its employees to have the freedom to use commercial products on its networks, and it even plans to create its own mobile app store by hiring contractors to build a system capable of handling as many as 8 million devices.