RIM receives US and Canadian government security clearance for BlackBerry 10, but analyst says platform could be “dead on arrival”

Troubled smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion has achieved US and Canadian government security clearance for its BlackBerry 10 platform, but the news was soured by a leading analyst calling the platform “dead on arrival”.

RIM has announced that it has received FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 clearance for its next generation BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 ahead of the launch of the new devices in early 2013.

“FIPS 140 certification provides confidence to security-conscious organisations, including US and Canadian government agencies, companies in regulated industries and other organisations dealing with sensitive information that data stored on smartphones running BlackBerry 10 can be properly secured and encrypted,” the company says in a statement.

“FIPS 140 is issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate the requirements and standards for certifying cryptographic modules. The standard was developed through the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), which certifies products for use by US government agencies and regulated industries that collect, store, transfer, share and disseminate sensitive information.”

However, the security clearance is bittersweet, coming a week after the Pentagon announced that it will allow properly secured Apple iPhones and Android smartphones to access US Department of Defense networks, ending RIM’s near-monopoly in the US defence sector.

According to Bloomberg, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette believes the BlackBerry 10 platform will be “dead on arrival”.

“We expect [BlackBerry 10] to be met with a lukewarm response at best and ultimately likely to fail,” Faucette says.

Faucette cites the unfamiliar user interface of BlackBerry 10, the lack of compatible accessories and few software applications as key reasons he believes BlackBerry 10 will struggle in the market.

As SmartCompany reported yesterday, the BlackBerry platform currently claims around 4.3% of the world smartphone market with 7.7 million units shipped worldwide per quarter, down 34.7% year-on-year from 11.8 million units and 9.5% marketshare.


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