iPhone 7 Ousts Samsung Handset as 'Device of Choice' For U.K. Defense Officials [Updated]

The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense has chosen Apple's iPhone 7 over Samsung as the "device of choice" for its military personnel, according to a report by TechRepublic this week.

Telecoms company BT is said to be working with the country's MoD to harden the security of the phone so that military officers can discuss and store sensitive information on the device. Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defense at BT, said the phone would eventually be capable of being switched between different modes depending on which security level was appropriate.

uk ministry of defense
Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD

"We've been working very closely with them to develop what we've commonly called a 'dual-persona device'. Essentially this means you can have voice at official and at secret."
BT is also working with the MoD to create "secure storage containers" on the device to hold sensitive data, revealed Bunn.

BT is said to have begun using a Samsung Note 4 to develop the bespoke military communications device, but testing quickly revealed that the security of the Android OS wasn't sufficient and the project was transferred to Apple's phone.

Despite Apple's high-profile reputation for upholding iOS security standards, the MoD's switch to iPhone bucks a trend in the defense industry, which tends to prefer phones running Android because of the ease with which the operating system can be altered.

As noted by TechRepublic, the GSMK CryptoPhone, which runs a heavily stripped-down version of Android, is currently in active use among military and security bodies around the world.

Update: BT has since contacted MacRumors with the following statement: "We would like to clarify that the MoD has not expressed any views about the suitability of dual-persona technology from specific handset/technology vendors and is prototyping a range of devices."

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: security


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13 weeks ago
It seems almost incredible that it wasn't the case from the start.
Rating: 13 Votes
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13 weeks ago

('//www.macrumors.com/2017/01/27/iphone-7-chosen-uk-defense-officials/')


The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense has chosen Apple's iPhone 7 over Samsung as the "device of choice" for its military personnel, according to a report by TechRepublic ('http://www.techrepublic.com/article/apple-iphone-7-is-being-hardened-to-handle-military-grade-secrets/') this week.

Telecoms company BT is said to be working with the country's MoD to harden the security of the phone so that military officers can discuss and store sensitive information on the device. Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defense at BT, said the phone would eventually be capable of being switched between different modes depending on which security level was appropriate.


Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD

BT is also working with the MoD to create "secure storage containers" on the device to hold sensitive data, revealed Bunn.

BT is said to have begun using a Samsung Note 4 to develop the bespoke military communications device, but testing quickly revealed that the security of the Android OS wasn't sufficient and the project was transferred to Apple's phone.

Despite Apple's high-profile reputation for upholding iOS security standards, the MoD's switch to iPhone bucks a trend in the defense industry, which tends to prefer phones running Android because of the ease with which the operating system can be altered.

As noted by TechRepublic, the GSMK CryptoPhone ('http://www.cryptophone.de/en/products/mobile/cp500/'), which runs a heavily stripped-down version of Android, is currently in active use among military and security bodies around the world.

Article Link: iPhone 7 Ousts Samsung Handset as 'Device of Choice' For U.K. Defense Officials ('//www.macrumors.com/2017/01/27/iphone-7-chosen-uk-defense-officials/')

[doublepost=1485534847][/doublepost]I think you'll find that we call it the Ministry of Defence, ie, we spell defence correctly.
Rating: 7 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Hmm. Since it's unlikely that they're going to use a custom iOS, it sounds like they're just going to write some apps.

Probably a secure documents storage and viewer, a secure email, and an encrypted voice comms app using data instead of cellular.
Rating: 5 Votes
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13 weeks ago

This means nothing. Call me when iPhone gets the same interest, excitement and market share it did during the years 2007-2012.


That is like asking Ford to bring back the market share of the Model T. It won't happen. The cell phone industry is extremely more competitive now than it was then. Back then the market was content with where they were. Today every manufacturer is trying to find the next killer feature and it's likely that nobody will ever get a multiple year lead again like Apple did with iOS and iPhone.
Rating: 4 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Wouldn't it make more sense for them to use the Note7? You know, just in case they ran out of grenades in the field...
Rating: 4 Votes
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13 weeks ago

It seems almost incredible that it wasn't the case from the start.

Billion dollar aircraft are running Windows. Above top secret military / contractor groups are running Windows.

Four stages of security ( one armed ) to get into the building, not to count the perimeter guards and ID / vehicle inspection at the entry gates and they are running Windows.

Me = completely baffled
Rating: 3 Votes
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13 weeks ago
The devices will just be enrolled in an MDM (so they can disable the camera, etc.) and they will have secure apps for file storage. They'll probably use a secure VoIP app for calls. Simple stuff but the key thing is the security of the OS that it sits on. iOS ticks all the boxes.
They're probably also using DEP and VPP so re-provisioning can be done in the field without needing the device to be returned to base. This is one of Android for Work's major flaws right now.
Rating: 3 Votes
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13 weeks ago

Hmm. Since it's unlikely that they're going to use a custom iOS, it sounds like they're just going to write some apps.

Probably a secure documents storage and viewer, a secure email, and an encrypted voice comms app using data instead of cellular.

Sounds like the "Good for Enterprise" app (encrypted data container and intranet enabled email/browser) with added voice capability.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago

It seems almost incredible that it wasn't the case from the start.

Not that incredible. We use (US) Samsung's as well.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Now to get the Ministry of Silly Walks on board and Tim shall rule the world!
Rating: 2 Votes
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