U.S. Air Force dumps beleaguered BlackBerry devices, replaces with Apple iPhones, iPads

“The U.S. Air Force announced earlier in February that it will be swapping out some 5,000 BlackBerry devices for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, with the move being a first step in the eventual retirement of all BlackBerry products carried by USAF personnel,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“‘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,’ said Brig. Gen. Kevin Wooton, communications director for Air Force Space Command,” Campbell reports. “Apple has vastly expanded its hardware presence in vetted U.S. military applications. In March of 2012, the Air Force Air Mobility Command awarded a $9.36 million contract to a specialized computer services company for the purchase of up to 18,000 iPads. The Apple tablets are used as electronic flight bags and will save the military branch an estimated $50 million in fuel costs and document reprinting.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
U.S. Air Force to save $50 million by deploying up to 18,000 Apple iPads – May 17, 2013
U.S. Air Force awards $9.36 million contract for 18,000 Apple iPad 2 units – March 2, 2012

24 Comments

      1. Funny! But I think he was bringing it up because it’s related to this topic.
        And, yes, the Army (sadly) bought a bunch of Android devices because security software exists for that platform, seemingly not even questioning why security software is needed in the first place.

            1. From my POV: The ‘Mac OS X is also vulnerable’, that I’ve read at the likes of The Guardian, is wrong. I go by the details published via the SANS Institute, who are extremely critical of Apple. If THEY say OS X does not have the SSL certificate verification security hole, I believe them. I have NO reason to believe The Guardian about tech. Their accusatory article is blundering and incomplete in any case.

              This SSL verification hole is EXTREMELY troubling in light of the US government destroying the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. I can’t blame anyone for worrying that this SSL flaw was exploited by our treasonous government.

              What’s good is that the first reports of the problem came out February 14th or so, and Apple had it patched on iOS within a week. Apple has been doing a nice job blocking malware via XProtect over the last year as well. They aren’t sitting on their arses any longer regarding security.

              Meanwhile, PLEASE don’t compare iOS security to Android. There is no conversation there. Android is the single MOST dangerous OS available at this time. I’ve never seen or read anything to the contrary. iOS is a blessed saint next to Android.

    1. A general once commented (I’m going by memory here) that if an Army toaster (for example) were to break, it would just sit there. Soldiers need to learn to make due with what they have.
      If an Air Force toaster were to break, it would be fixed immediately. Their philosophy is if something isn’t working, people die.

      I guess the Air Force needs smart phones that work.

  1. I have to point out what I see as a trend:

    No matter how insistent the IT duffuses are, I keep seeing executive decisions to abandon all alternatives to the Apple iPhone. Bravo!

    Example:
    United Airlines dumped Android clunkers in 2013 and went iPhone. Now I don’t have to deal with my brother asking me how to fix crap in Android all the time. Excellent.

    1. Unfortunately Delta chose to use Surface and Windows phones, but it’ll take a few years before Surface is cockpit ready. Can you say IT doofuses and kickbacks to management?

  2. Perfect timing, apple devices found to be hackable when sending encrypted messages and the USAF decides to choose that moment to switch over. Wonder what they were smoking…meaning when did national security become less important than Angry Birds ?

    1. Perhaps the USAF IT security department is the one that brought it to the attention of Apple, so they would quietly update the iOS software in anticipation of this “exposé”. Perhaps the USAF don’t like the NSA looking over their shoulder at 20,000 feet.

    2. Are you under the impression that the USAF relies on SSL for sending secure messages? I’m sure it uses something considerably more robust. No doubt there’s an app for that.

        1. Wait – a Blackberry? Like the ones that they’re getting rid of? Really, that’s your alternative?

          This has to be the most ridiculous comment I’ve seen in some time.

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