SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The competition between Apple and Samsung now extends to the military as both companies await approval for use of their mobile devices by the Pentagon, which has relied almost exclusively on the Blackberry.

The Defense Department has 470,000 employees using Blackberry devices, compared to just under 50,000 that use Apple and Android devices in various pilot programs.

“Blackberry has lost a lot of market share over the last five years due to the iPhone and the Android,” said Matt Rosoff, editorial director of CITEWorld. “If this happens, and they lose one of their last strongholds, that’s trouble for the company.”

Samsung has developed a waterproof, dustproof Galaxy S4 Active suitable for rugged outdoor use. Apple hopes to place both iPhones and iPad tablet computers in government.

The enhanced encryption technology of the Blackberry is what allowed the device to dominate the military even as the marketplace was overtaken by Apple and Android devices.

Versions of Android and iOS6 that meet government security standards would help both companies attract more civilian business too, Rosoff said.

“If you work in an industry that is very conscious of security, like finance in particular, it probably means that there is a greater chance that you’ll be able to use your personal smart phone for work,” he said.

Approval is expected in the next several weeks.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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