Apple has signed a $159 million contract with the New Zealand Police that have opted for the iPhone maker's products over BlackBerry, Google and Microsoft.
The New Zealand Police said the deal covers 6,000 police officers receiving an iPhone, and 3,900 of those officers will also be given an iPad. The forces will initially spend $4.3 million to fund the initiative over the next three months. It expects to spend as much as $159 million in operating expenditures during the next 10 years.
It chose Apple products over BlackBerry, Google and Microsoft after surveying its officers, who said iPhones and iPads were the most useful technology tools for their line of work.
"The trial showed the most useful tools for officers were small personal devices (such as a smartphone) for making phone calls or text messaging, accessing email, and accessing information and photo databases, and a larger such as a laptop or tablet for staff who need to do more data entry," said New Zealand Police Chief Information Officer Stephen Crombie.
"Based on frontline officer feedback from the trial (over 100 staff in four districts trialed smartphones, laptops and tablets over an 11-month period), the preferred devices are the iPhone as smartphone and iPad for the tablet. The approach used to develop the applications means Police can move to other devices with relative ease as technology changes."
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key added, "Using mobile technology means officers will be able to check offenders’ details (like photographs and bail conditions) where and when they need to, rather than having to drive to a station to access information or use the police radio. This means more time to focus on stopping crime and protecting communities, and less time each day on administration duties at their desks."
Apple will also be supplying 10,000 iPhone units to Home Depot, the fifth largest retailer in the world, who recently announced plans to ditch BlackBerry devices.