by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) May 3, 2013
BlackBerry may lose favor with a big customer -- the U.S. Defense Department -- as department officials say they're considering Apple and Samsung alternatives.
Following a review of Apple and Samsung's software for use on its secure classified and unclassified networks, the department may allow its employees to choose among Samsung and Apple smartphones and tablets for the office, a statement from the agency said.
If that comes to pass it could further weaken BlackBerry's once dominant position among security-conscious government employees, The Washington Post reported Friday.
It is security that has kept BlackBerry popular with businesses and government clients, and its new operating system, BlackBerry 10, received Defense Department approval Thursday.
The State Department, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security have already given their employees approval to use iPhones, iPads and Android devices at work as well as BlackBerry smartphones.
Although the review process could give defense employees the option of using Apple and Samsung devices, it won't guarantee greater sales for any smartphone maker since approvals "do not directly result in product orders but facilitate the process by eliminating the need for security reviews at the individual DoD organization level," a department spokesman said in a statement.
Apple and Samsung declined to comment on the Defense Department's review process, the Post said, and BlackBerry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Apple gains in US smartphone market: report
Apple's share of the US smartphone market climbed nearly three percent to 39 percent in the first three months of this year, making the California company the most popular handset maker in the country, according to comScore.
The Android platform that Samsung, HTC, LG and other manufacturers use to power devices still reigned supreme, but its overall share of the US market slipped 1.4 percent to 54 percent, comScore reported.
Smartphones powered by Microsoft Windows software rose a smidgen to three percent of the market, while the portion held by BlackBerry devices slipped more than a percent to 5.2 percent, according to comScore.
South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung remained the second most popular smartphone maker with 21.7 percent of the US market, followed by HTC, Motorola and LG with 9 percent, 8.5 percent, and 6.8 percent respectively.
The number of US smartphone owners climbed nine percent to 136.7 during the quarter, comScore reported.
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