New Zealand Chooses Apple for Government Contract

By Joe Rizzo February 15, 2013

In a surprising way to determine which piece of equipment would be used, the New Zealand Police Department conducted a survey. Yes, they asked their police officers to take a survey and the results were a resounding response that iPhones and iPads were the most useful tech tools for their line of work.

Prime Minister John Key, along with Police Minister Anne Tolley and Police Commissioner Peter Marshall announced on February 13, 2013 that just over 6,000 frontline police officers would be getting smartphones. The smartphone that was chosen was the iPhone. In addition to the iPhone, 3,900 would also get tablets, which of course is the iPad. There are times when it is necessary to manually input information and the survey determined that a tablet is the most efficient way to do that.

Another shift that happened in New Zealand is the carrier of choice. The smartphones and tablets would be supplied by Vodafone. They are a British multi-national telecommunications company. New Zealand Police chief information officer, Stephen Crombie, said that Telecom’s Gen-i division would continue to supply mobile services for operational management and administrative staff.

Mr. Crombie said, “Telecom has previously had a lock on police business, but over the coming year police will be working to determine how many of these mobiles will move to the arrangement with Vodafone.”

The iPhone and iPad contract is a 10 year outsourced deal which was won by Vodafone. It represents new business for them, just as it does for Apple. The initial cost of the rollout is $4.3 million over three months. Over the next 10 years the amount that will be spent in operating expenditures will total to $159 million.

The National Business Review (NBR) asked Mr. Crombie about the decision to choose Apple over Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry, his response was, "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."

"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," Mr. Crombie said.

Commissioner Marshall was quoted saying, "We believe greater use of modern technology is the way of the future; it's common sense, and will ensure officers can remain on the frontline rather than returning to stations to complete paperwork."

The $159 mobile contract comes as another blow to BlackBerry. Once the go-to company for enterprise mobile devices, this is the second time this week that Apple beat out BlackBerry for corporate contracts. At the beginning of this week, Home Depot made a decision to discard BlackBerry in lieu of Apple. Halfway around the world a similar decision was made.

Even though BlackBerry had a successful launch of the BlackBerry 10 just a couple of weeks ago, it has had several major setbacks. In October of 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense dropped its exclusive contract with BlackBerry. To add fuel to the fire, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also announced that it would be dropping all of its BlackBerry devices and replacing them with Apple iPhones.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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