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BlackBerry 10 wins Pentagon's security approval

The device maker beats out Apple and Samsung to be the first company to get its latest operating system authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense for agency use.

The BlackBerry Z10. Stephen Shankland/CNET

BlackBerry 10 devices have succeeded in passing the rigorous U.S. Department of Defense security requirements, according to Reuters. The agency approved on Thursday the company's entire line of devices running on its new operating system, which includes BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones, and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

BlackBerry, Apple, and Samsung have all recently been in the running to get security approval for their newest devices to be used by the Department of Defense's some 3 million employees. BlackBerry is now the first to get approval. It's expected that both Apple and Samsung will also get authorization within the next couple of weeks.

In February, the agency said it planned to amp up the multitude of devices used by its employees. Of the more than 600,000 mobile devices currently used by the department, 470,000 are BlackBerry, 41,000 are Apple, and 8,700 are running on Google Android. The department said that eventually it wants to handle as many as 8 million devices.

BlackBerry has had a tough go over the past year regarding government contracts, so the Pentagon approval must come as welcome news to the company. In October, the Pentagon announced it was planning to open up its exclusive BlackBerry contract to other device makers. That same month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced it was dropping all of its BlackBerry devices and replacing them with Apple's iPhone.

In the past, BlackBerry has enjoyed many exclusive contracts with different U.S. government agencies. Various iterations of BlackBerry devices have provided the high-level security requirements needed by the government. It looks like the company's newest devices are still garnering the trust of the Department of Defense.

CNET contacted BlackBerry for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

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