05/02/2013 06:53 EDT | Updated 07/02/2013 05:12 EDT

U.S. Defence Department gives OK to BlackBerry 10 smartphones, company says

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TODAY -- Pictured: Thorsten Heins appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
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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