Thursday, March 07, 2013, 02:45 pm PT (05:45 pm ET)
Report: DoD cuts BB10 test budget as trials of iOS and Android near completionThe Pentagon's budget for BlackBerry 10 device testing will be cut dramatically in the near future, and with the Department of Defense finishing up testing on Android devices and Apple's iOS, the already struggling Canadian handset maker may lose even more ground in an industry where it was once a dominant force.
Electronista reported on Thursday that the DoD, facing a mandatory 11 percent budget pullback due to the federal sequester, will be reducing the funds allotted to testing new devices in an effort to cut costs. As BlackBerry 10 devices have yet to be released in the United States, the program to test them for approval for use within the Department is thought to be "low-hanging fruit."
"We're almost done with the iOS and Android platform testing procedure, so that's fine," a source told Electronista. "BlackBerry is going to have to suck it up and not get properly tested for a while. Maybe never."
The DoD is not killing off the BB 10 testing program entirely, however, as a few devices and a test server are already in operation in a secure facility. Instead, the budget for obtaining more devices will likely be cut before more units can be procured.
Thursday's news could signify a considerable blow to BlackBerry, which has counted large organizations such as the DoD among its most faithful clientele for some time. The enterprise sector, though, is increasingly turning to Apple's iOS platform, and to a lesser extent Google's Android OS, for its information technology needs, .
There are currently about 470,000 BlackBerry devices in daily use at the DoD, none of which run BB 10 outside of the pilot program. The most recent financial reports for BlackBerry showed the company at about 78 million total subscribers worldwide.
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