WATERLOO, Ont. - BlackBerry (TSX:BB) says the U.S. Department of Defence has approved its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBook tablets for use on its networks.

The smartphone maker says its devices have undergone successful testing in the Defence Department labs to win approval.

BlackBerry launched its Z10 smartphone in the U.S. earlier this year. The Q10 version with the popular physical keyboard was made available this week in Canada.

BlackBerry is expected to release the Q10 in the crucial U.S. market later this month, although a date hasn't been announced.

Security has continued to be a major selling point for BlackBerry devices even as the company has seen its market share eaten up by rival Android-powered smartphones and Apple's iPhone.

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  • Alicia Keys Is BlackBerry's Mercenary

    At the BlackBerry 10 launch event, CEO Thorsten Heins introduced singer Alicia Keys as the company's new global creative director. Sure, Keys is a familiar and likable face to hawk your product -- but how has writing "Girl On Fire" prepared her for a creative director role? Adding to the awkward is that she's a <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5980200/blackberry-spokesperson-alicia-keys-tweets-from-her-iphone">prolific Twitter user from her iPhone</a> and Instagram's quite a bit, a program which isn't available on BlackBerry's new operating system yet. She claimed at the event that she'd been lured back into the BlackBerry fold by the new phones.

  • A Gimmicky Hair Cut, Less Cracking On CrackBerry.com

    Kevin Michaluk, owner of the premier BlackBerry fansite and blog "CrackBerry" had promised to not cut his hair until the release of BlackBerry 10. Considering there were a <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/A-look-at-RIM-s-much-delayed-BlackBerry-10-4236058.php">few delays along the way</a>, Michaluk had a nice batch of lettuce going. Though a nice gesture of his dedication, the reaction in house was timid. <a href="http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/crackberry.com">Pageviews for Crackberry.com</a> have seen a steady dip.

  • Viral Marketing Fail

    In an effort to build hype for the announcement of BlackBerry's new operating system and phones, the company released <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MiSzaWxRUSk" target="_hplink">this video</a> one day before the launch. The video involved a cable controlled jump with Alec Saunders, BlackBerry's VP of developer relations, and BlackBerry exec Marty Mallick. During the jump Mallick lets out a barely enthusiastic "BlackBerry 10 ruleeesssss!" The video only had 6,000 views prior to the launch event.

  • RIM Is Now.. BlackBerry! But Who Cares?

    During the BlackBerry 10 launch event, it was revealed that Research In Motion or RIM, BlackBerry's creator, would be <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/rim-changing-name-to-blackberry_n_2581969.html?utm_hp_ref=technology">changing its name</a> to...BlackBerry. More than anything this seems to signal that the BlackBerry is all or nothing for what was formerly RIM -- they have nothing to fall back on.

  • Palm Comparisons

    Many Twitter users were quick to point out <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=blackberry%20palm&src=typd">the launch of BlackBerry 10 to another doomed launch</a>, that of the the Palm Pre for Palm. The company announced the new phone and OS in January 2009, only to be <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/28/technology/hp_palm/index.htm">scooped up by Hewlett Packard in April 2010</a>.