Sales of the new iPhone 4S exceeded $4 million during its first three days of sales but it’s not just consumers who want to get their hands on Apple’s latest technology – government agencies are also buying up Apple products left and right. While the government tends to drag its feet when it comes to adopting newer technology, this hasn’t been the case with Apple products. Everything from iPads to iPhones can be seen in recent solicitations listed on the FedBizOpps website.
The new iPhone 4S features an advanced speech recognition program – “Siri” – which allows users to give hands-free commands to their phone. A faster new processor and 8 megapixel camera with updated lens are also hot features likely to entice buyers.
During the last fiscal year, over $1.1 million in contracts were awarded to Apple Inc. by various Federal Government agencies.
The obstacles to adoption of the new iPhone 4S by government agencies will likely be high prices and security concerns. While the GSA has taken the lead in adopting new technology such as iPads, iPhones and Android devices, other agencies are exploring how best to integrate these devices safely into high security environments. Following a recent report from the Government Accountability Office stating that attempts to hack into federal computers have risen 650% over the past five years, protecting sensitive information is of high concern.
Costs also add up. The VA recently spent $30,000, the Airforce $171,000 and the GSA $145,000 on tablet devices such as the iPad.
However, as new apps are developed that can support government initiatives – such as the new iPhone app that can fly an unmanned aircraft and eventually may be applied to the military’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in its drone program – it’s certain the iPhone and other mobile devices will become just as ubiquitous in government agencies as it has become in the private sector.