Apple wins big government account
More than 6,000 New Zealand police officers are getting an iPhone after the nation signed a 10-year outsourcing contract with Vodafone.
Of those 6,000 officers, 3,900 will also receive an iPad, creating the most lucrative deal Apple (AAPL) has announced since Home Depot (HD) announced that it planned to dump BlackBerry (BBRY) for the iPhone.
That deal led to the replacement of roughly 10,000 BlackBerry devices, providing Apple with another large order.
According to The National Business Review, New Zealand police forces will initially spend $4.3 million to fund the initiative over the next three months. They expect to spend as much as $159 million in operating expenditure in the next 10 years.
Stephen Crombie, the Chief Information Officer of the New Zealand Police force, told The National Business Review why it chose Apple products over competing items from Google (GOOG), BlackBerry or Microsoft (MSFT).
"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," Crombie told the publication.
"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."
Compared to the number of iPhones that Apple can sell in a weekend, that might not sound like much. However, these corporate and government orders are very important to the company's long-term success. They help strengthen the brand and ensure that the iPhone will receive great exposure on a corporate level.
Apple is trading up slightly this afternoon, although the company has yet to recover from its year-to-date decline of nearly 15%. And BlackBerry is nonetheless trading up over 7% this afternoon, after taking some heat earlier in the day. The stock, which had recently become Wall Street's golden company, plummeted more than 19% over the last five days.
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