The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Friday that it plans to allow Apple devices running iOS 6 onto the Pentagon’s secure network early this week, The approval opens the door for Apple to secure lucrative military contracts currently held in the most part by BlackBerry.
Alana Johnson, a spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency, told Bloomberg that, if approved next week, government-issued devices running Apple’s iOS 6 would be granted access to highly secure military networks.
The news comes one week after rival Samsung’s Knox-compatible devices received approval for use on DoD systems. BlackBerry has also received approval for its latest BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Apple recently received FIPS 140-2 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Computer Security Division for the iOS CoreCrypto Kernel Module v3.0, a module found in iOS 6.
While the DoD clearance is a step forward for Apple, the Pentagon must build out a mobile device management system to allow iPhones and iPads to be used in their secure environment. No timeline has been announced for such a project.