Samsung has lost a very important customer after the U.K. military switched to the iPhone 7. Google’s Android has also taken a big hit after officials said they food some big security problems with the operating system.
iPhone 7 being hardened for special military use
Tech Republic reports that BT is working on hardening the iPhone 7 to be used as a device for a special wing of the U.K. military. The iPhone is being transformed into what it calls a “dual-persona” device that members of the military can use when talking about issues of a confidential nature. After BT has finished its work, the device will also be able to store sensitive data.
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Steve Bunn, BT’s technical business manager for defence,” described the iPhone 7 as the “device of choice” for the Ministry of Defence. The “dual-persona” nature of the hardened version of it just means that users can switch it between two different modes depending on how sensitive a phone call is. In other words, users can set it to an official or secret mode.
BT is also building “secret storage containers” on the iPhone 7 that can be used to store sensitive military data,” and the telecom firm said the process is going quite well.
Security problems discovered with the Note 4
When starting the project, BT began working with Samsung’s Note 4, but as they started testing it, they discovered some problems with the security and thus deemed it insufficient for being used by members of the military who deal with confidential matters. Upon discovering the security problems, they switched to the iPhone. However, that wasn’t the only reason they switched.
BT Business Development Director Derek Stretch clarified that the Ministry of Defence already had a lot of iPhones in use throughout the agency. As a result, it made sense to go with the iPhone rather than the Samsung Note.
iPhone over Android
BlackBerry was once widely considered to be the world’s most secure device, and it has tried to keep this picture going but failed to do so. One by one, the world’s government leaders have had their BlackBerry devices ripped out of their hands and replaced, often by iPhones, despite specialty security-focused handsets such as the Solarin phone, which costs nearly $15,000, or the Black phone developed by Boeing.
Most of these specialty phones run on a hardened version of Android, makes it interesting that the U.K. military opted to harden an iPhone 7 instead. The open-source nature of Android makes it easier to change it, so working with iOS is probably more difficult.