TSA Ready to Spend $3M on Apple Gear

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is planning to spend US$3 million on Apple equipment including Macs, iPhones, iPads, and AppleTV units. The purchase will be part of a secure mobile device pilot program the agency is launching.

TSA ready to buy Apple gearThe TSA will be purchasing about 1,000 Macs and about 1,000 iPhones and iPads over a three year period. The agency proposed using Apple products for video and graphics production, forensic investigations, security testing, training, presentations, and iPhone app development.

“TSA currently has most of the capabilities in the ‘Microsoft Windows’ and ‘RIM Blackberry’ environments and requires the hardware, software and licenses to support a greater diversity of devices and operating systems as we follow the public driven demand for more mobility,” the agency said in its proposal. “One of the major OEMs today that produce a widely used full suite of hardware, software and licensing is Apple corporation.”

According to the agency, by using Apple products, especially iOS and the App Store, it will be able to become a more efficient organization. The document noted that several government-designed apps are available only for iOS, and not Google’s Android platform, too.

The proposal has already worked its way through several levels of approval, but still has a few more to go before the TSA can start spending its money on Apple gear.

[Thanks to Nextgov for the heads up.]