BlackBerry 10 might not make it back into the consumer spotlight soon, but with Fed approval, RIM's devices may end up in the hands of government officials in need of secure communications.
Is This Line Secure?
Due out in early 2013, RIM's BlackBerry 10 devices and OS need all the help they can get to reinvigorate the brand, raise consumer confidence and get something of a vibe going. Perhaps the image of clandestine agents toting their BB10s for secret messages, or seeing those in power wielding them to talk to "the man," or using them to solve the world's problems will help.
That's because the US government has already given RIM approval for Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification. Meaning that BB10 devices and the back-end BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, have one useful stamp on them.
The technology used in them offers data encryption on both server and device, and as messages are passed on. That's what the Feds demand, so no unauthorised listeners can drop in on what's being sent.
Too Little, Too Late?
Of course, this accreditation is nothing if the government (and the standard also applies north of the border in RIM's home country) doesn't end up buying them. And there's little guarantee that anyone will be rushing to buy BlackBerry devices next year.
However, with no phone maker really grabbing the third spot in the market behind Apple and Samsung, there is a fair chance that RIM could still stage a comeback, particularly with its powerful enterprise following with secure collaboration needs.
BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 is the key to keeping those IT managers happy and offers a great deal for those in admin. With consolidation of mobile device management, security, infrastructure, and app management from a unified web-based console, there's plenty to appeal to security concious businesses.