Remember how people said that BlackBerry was "cooked" when the DOD said they were going to likely approve Apple products -- and then did -- for use on their networks?
There's a wee problem -- the conditions associated with that approval.
- No Safari browser (you have to use a containerized browser that will have far fewer features)
- No iMessage
- No iTunes
- No App Store (as in only apps the DoD allows on your device through their own App Store)
- Containerized segregated email client
- No Wi-Fi access on DoD Wi-Fi networks though you can use it at home or publicly
- Must be connected to a MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution
The last point is one of the most interesting. To be able to use an iOS device or Android device on the DoD network it must be hooked up to an MDM. Currently the only approved MDM is BlackBerry Enterprise Service.
So if you want an actual device on a DOD network that you can use for actual things beyond access to your DOD stuff there is only one choice of manufacturer that ships now and works: The BlackBerry Z-10 and Q-10 devices.
If you really want an iPhone you must use it connected to the BES (BlackBerry's!) management service and you cannot load general-purpose apps nor can you use Apple's messenger client or full-featured browser and email system. Not only that you can't run it on DOD WiFi networks at all.
The WiFi restriction is interesting; this implies that DOD is unhappy with something in their VPN capability. It may be that the DOD wants IPSEC/IKEv2 for security reasons and IOS doesn't offer it -- not sure. Whatever it is, it's not good enough from their point of view.
But more to the point from a user perspective without the ability to run consumer apps and the browser along with the IOS email and messaging systems the entire reason to have such a device disappears! Those capabilities are, basically, why people want the iPhone and iPAD in the first place.
In the meantime DOD approval for BB10 devices (Z-10 and Q-10 at present) mandated Balance (BlackBerry's dual-partition system for separating personal and work spaces) under the approved MDM (BES) but placed no other restrictions on the configuration. Thus you can have your personal email, music and apps on the device unrestricted, and in addition it appears that you don't even have to secure the personal partition if you don't want to (although you probably should since you probably care about your personal data as well as your work stuff.)
How about Knox, Samsung's "answer"? It seems to be delayed and thus exactly how (or if) it compares against the Z-10 in the real world and from an actual approval point of view is an unknown at the present time.
I have to chuckle at those who thought the DOD was "leveling" the playing field.
In point of fact what DOD did was "allow" IOS devices on their networks if you first rip out their heart and brains, leaving a shell that happens to look like an iPhone in your hand, as they apparently found that IOS simply did not, in the real world, "make the grade" as-shipped.
Score one gigantic win for the Z-10 and BlackBerry.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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