Moscow-based RBC Daily newspaper reports that the Russian Government is looking to integrate tablets into its workforce. Decision makers though have expressed concerns regarding security issues on the iOS system, making Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad an unlikely candidate for adoption. Speaking to the security concerns, a top government official (note the broken English) told a reporter, “The idea of transfer of officials from the flatbed of Apple products in a more secure platform – it is a necessity – says one of the initiators of this idea, working in the government. – Can you imagine how much risk will undergo state, if the information from the iPad Assistant Deputy Minister of Health will fall into the wrong hands ? And if this is official from the Ministry of Defence? That’s why now is considering the issue of secure devices.”
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The government is now considering going with Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) Playbook, or a Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS device over market leader Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The endorsement of Russia’s government, not to mention the sizable contract its orders will bring, could be a big boon to junior tablet makers future in the tablet market, especially in the growing emerging market economies of Russia and former soviet-bloc nations. Another question that emerges from this is whether other governments, and corporations, will eschew the iPad for similar reasons.
If Apple fails to address these concerns, tablet newcomers with products tailored to professional users, such as Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), could see a wide opening in the enterprise market. There won’t be any cold war rivalry emerging from this issue either, as the United States government (the FBI in particular) has named only the RIMM playbook as a tablet secure enough to protect the federal office’s data-privacy needs.