Pentagon Will Allow Employees To Ditch BlackBerrys For iPhones & Androids

One of Research in Motion’s last remaining bastions of strong business is in governments, but it appears that the Blackberry-maker might lose one of their biggest customers: the Pentagon, which is now planning to open its network to iPhones and Androids.

The Washington Post reports:

The Defense Department plans to hire a contractor to build a system that will manage and secure at least 162,500 Android devices and Apple products such as the iPad, according to a document posted online Oct. 22. The system may be expanded to handle 8 million devices, the department said…

The Pentagon wants to allow employees to access its network with a broader range of mobile devices so it can “take advantage of the increasing wireless capabilities that exist and that are developing in the marketplace,” according to the contracting document.

RIM, on their part, are trying to spin this all as a positive advantage for their BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software that allows companies and organizations to manage iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys all at the same time. But let’s face it, this is just another death knell for a complacent company that Google and Apple killed. Sure, the Pentagon’s not actually ditching BlackBerrys, but they are offering their employees the choice… and just as consumers have, the smartphone they are going to choose isn’t likely to be a RIM one.