U.S. Air Force Ditches 5,000 BlackBerries For iPhone

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Blackberry has been dealt another blow as yet another major customer jumps ship to iPhone. The U.S. Air Force is planning on replacing 5,000 Blackberries with iPhones.

In a report from the Air Force Times, the Air Force says that the reason they are moving to iPhone is part of a general effort to get personnel off of old and clunky legacy devices, which cost money to support.

“In order to keep costs down and save on network resources, BlackBerrys will be turned in and shut off once the user is transitioned to an iOS device,” Brig. Gen. Kevin Wooton, communications director for Air Force Space Command, said in a statement.

Any new BlackBerry provisioned after Jan. 1 will require a waiver from AFSPC/A6, Wooten said.

Initially, the Air Force will focus on replacing BlackBerrys and executive users and enabling about 5,000 iOS devices for use. The Air Force didn’t say whether these devices will be supported by the Defense Information Systems Agency’s new mobile device management software, but it’s likely that DISA will play a role in centrally managing Air Force devices.”

Needless to say, Blackberry is already doing damage control, claiming that by moving away from Blackberry, the U.S. military may be jeopardizing their mobile security,.

Obviously, the Air Force doesn’t agree. They also recently purchased 15,000 iPads to replace their bulky flight bags with Apple’s tablet.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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