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US Air Force may buy 18,000 Apple iPads for cargo aircraft

post #1 of 29
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The U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command recently put out a notice that it plans to buy as many as 18,000 of Apple's iPad for use on cargo aircraft like the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster.

The Air Mobility Command's planned purchase could prove to be the largest single federal order for iPad 2 units, according to Nextgov. The site spotted the AMC's plans in a Federal Business Opportunities posting, where it revealed it plans to buy a "minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000 iPad 2" units or "equal devices."

Though the iPad was the only tablet named specifically in the listing, Lt. Col. Glen Roberts, AMC public affairs director, said the command seeks "a tablet device" but "not necessarily an iPad."

The Air Force seeks proposals from tablet makers and seeks to obtain them at the lowest possible fixed price. A move to tablets, iPad or otherwise, would allow the AMC to adopt an electronic flight publication system to save time and money, as well as boost efficiency.

iPads have been taking to the skies ever since the Federal Aviation Admisitration signed off on the use of Apple's touchscreen tablet as an electronic flight bag last July. Previously, commercial and charter airlines relied on cumbersome 40-pound paper manuals.

That prompted major airlines, like American Airlines, to use the iPad as digital flight manual readers, replacing traditional paper charts. The move is expected to save the airline $1.2 million per year in fuel costs alone.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 29
Quote:
"minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000 iPad 2"

Is this where I make a joke along the lines of, "Ah, good old government number-crunching!"

That's a non-partisan joke, isn't it? Neither side will be offended because everyone does that, right?

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post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

where it revealed it plans to buy a "minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000 iPad 2" units or "equal devices."

Equal devices? There are none.

If it had said inferior devices, we'd know that they were maybe considering Android tablets, but luckily, that is not the case.
post #4 of 29
Clearly no one told the brass that 'it's just a big iPhone'
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post #5 of 29
I am glad I invested in this company soon after the iPAD was released even though it was at a very "high price" of 300. You have no idea how many people told me it was too high, they cant go up, the iPAD is no good, blah blah blah.....

One of the best decisions I have ever made....
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Equal devices? There are none.

If it had said inferior devices, we'd know that they were maybe considering Android tablets, but luckily, that is not the case.

They still have to put it out to bid just to be fair per gov procurement policy. Maybe when a new iPad comes out, the iPad 2 will be reduced to $299 for a 2nd tier model and save some tax payer $$$$.

Tom
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ko024 View Post

I am glad I invested in this company soon after the iPAD was released even though it was at a very "high price" of 300. You have no idea how many people told me it was too high, they cant go up, the iPAD is no good, blah blah blah.....

One of the best decisions I have ever made....

Well done! You know, $500 won't even be high when we look back in a few years.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ko024 View Post

I am glad I invested in this company soon after the iPAD was released even though it was at a very "high price" of 300. You have no idea how many people told me it was too high, they cant go up, the iPAD is no good, blah blah blah.....

One of the best decisions I have ever made....

Sad thing is the same people are still saying the same things. They really are obsessed with Apple's demise.
post #9 of 29
Meanwhile in Australia a pilot is suing an Airline for NOT providing an iPad.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226264136062

A $500 purchase would have avoided a million dollar law suit.

Price is in the eye of the beholder.
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
The Air Force seeks proposals from tablet makers and seeks to obtain them at the lowest possible fixed price.

What this means is they will waste a ton of money on shitty Coby tablets, realize their mistake, then spend their money on iPads like they should have in the first place.

I'm surprised they're not obligated to purchase an American-made tablet like: http://www.duratabusa.com/
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Meanwhile in Australia a pilot is suing an Airline for NOT providing an iPad.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226264136062

A $500 purchase would have avoided a million dollar law suit.

Price is in the eye of the beholder.

So he is sueing his employer, for not providing a device that wasn't available for sale?

Date of injury, Dec 2009, iPad available in the US, April 2010, available in Aussie, May 28, 2010. I really hope that lawsuit works out for him....
post #12 of 29
YEARS ago I bought it at $19 and change. WHY WHY WHY did I let me ex talk me into selling???


Quote:
Originally Posted by ko024 View Post

I am glad I invested in this company soon after the iPAD was released even though it was at a very "high price" of 300. You have no idea how many people told me it was too high, they cant go up, the iPAD is no good, blah blah blah.....

One of the best decisions I have ever made....
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothgarr View Post

I'm surprised they're not obligated to purchase an American-made tablet like: http://www.duratabusa.com/

I wonder where they get their components, before assembling these things in America?
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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Equal devices? There are none.

If it had said inferior devices, we'd know that they were maybe considering Android tablets, but luckily, that is not the case.

I know you are being sarcastic, funny, whatever, but if you think about, if by "equal devices" they mean equal to the task at hand, you could easily argue that the iPad is overqualified.

It's likely the device doesn't need most of the capabilities of an iPad. It won't need to be able to surf the web, make Skype calls, play games, or purchase songs from the iTunes Store. iCloud would be completely irrelevant. And the iPad's closed nature could be a big negative for this application.

The iPad may still be the best device for the job, but if "equal" is viewed in terms of the requirements for the proposal, it may well not be the only device, nor the cheapest, which gets the job done.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I know you are being sarcastic, funny, whatever, but if you think about, if by "equal devices" they mean equal to the task at hand, you could easily argue that the iPad is overqualified.

It's likely the device doesn't need most of the capabilities of an iPad. It won't need to be able to surf the web, make Skype calls, play games, or purchase songs from the iTunes Store. iCloud would be completely irrelevant. And the iPad's closed nature could be a big negative for this application.

The iPad may still be the best device for the job, but if "equal" is viewed in terms of the requirements for the proposal, it may well not be the only device, nor the cheapest, which gets the job done.

You're missing the point. The application involves flight information. Currently, the iPad is the only device with FAA approval.
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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You're missing the point. The application involves flight information. Currently, the iPad is the only device with FAA approval.

Except that really wasn't the point of the post I was replying to. That post's point was to slam non-iPad devices.

Besides, there are a lot of things the Air Force flies with that aren't FAA approved.
post #17 of 29
Apple gained nearly one Facebook ($100B) in value since Steve Jobs died



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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ko024 View Post

I am glad I invested in this company soon after the iPAD was released even though it was at a very "high price" of 300. You have no idea how many people told me it was too high, they cant go up, the iPAD is no good, blah blah blah.....

One of the best decisions I have ever made....

and I'm still sad I had to sell my 30 shares at $17 (before they split twice) so the (now ex) would get any.
post #19 of 29
Wow. 18,000 sounds like a lot, considering that the Air Force only has about 400 "cargo" aircraft.

http://www.planespotters.net/Airline...ates-Air-Force

Maybe the pilots are unionized
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by adsapp View Post

Wow. 18,000 sounds like a lot, considering that the Air Force only has about 400 "cargo" aircraft.

http://www.planespotters.net/Airline...ates-Air-Force

Maybe the pilots are unionized

Maybe each plane has 45 staff?

(no wonder they need to save weight by going digital)
post #21 of 29
Don't be surprised if they go Android for tablets(perhaps even Microsoft win8), they did go android for phones. Paradoxically or maybe not, the same company that builds the c-17 has made a corporate decision to NOT deploy the iPhone at all and go with Android phones. But they will continue to 'explore' enterprise deployment of the iPad. Go figure. I think it is due to the defense dept decision to go with Android phones. They are waiting for the final defense dept decision on tablets. Bottom line IMO- defense dept doesnt like the closed Apple operating system. Microsoft is great at tweaking operating systems to enterprise needs. And Android can be tweaked to their needs. Apple... Take it or leave it. Generally great for Auntie Em user, but not corporate.
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post #22 of 29
In 95 I flew on the first C-17 into Sarajevo during our invasion. It was my first C-17 flight. I remember watching the loady playing solitaire on the plane's computer at his workstation which was running Windows. You've come a long way Air Force.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Clearly no one told the brass that 'it's just a big iPhone'

Nope. Clearly it's still just a toy.

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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Nope. Clearly it's still just a toy.

I used to live with a 'high ranking' Google employee (located within Australia) and, when the iPad was first unveiled, I saw it's potential and showed it to him excitedly.

He also claimed it was 'just a big iPhone without the ability to make calls'.

Do you know how much shit I have given him since then?

A lot!
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by adsapp View Post

Wow. 18,000 sounds like a lot, considering that the Air Force only has about 400 "cargo" aircraft.

http://www.planespotters.net/Airline...ates-Air-Force

Maybe the pilots are unionized

Not necessarily just for pilot/co-pilot. Could be for loadmasters, mechanics, and other ground support staff as well. But, likely just half the maximum amount.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Don't be surprised if they go Android for tablets(perhaps even Microsoft win8), they did go android for phones. Paradoxically or maybe not, the same company that builds the c-17 has made a corporate decision to NOT deploy the iPhone at all and go with Android phones. But they will continue to 'explore' enterprise deployment of the iPad. Go figure. I think it is due to the defense dept decision to go with Android phones. They are waiting for the final defense dept decision on tablets. Bottom line IMO- defense dept doesnt like the closed Apple operating system. Microsoft is great at tweaking operating systems to enterprise needs. And Android can be tweaked to their needs. Apple... Take it or leave it. Generally great for Auntie Em user, but not corporate.

The government, like many corporate organizations are looking at the iPad BECAUSE it has a robust developer toolset, has a controlled app delivery system (including corporate-centric app stores that the general public doesn't get to see), and the gov has already dealt with a number of issues from the Microsoft perspective. Microsoft has to provide onsite support staff for most larger corporate customers with wide Microsoft systems exposure, just to keep the systems up and running. Android can not only be tweaked to their needs - it can also provide excellent hacking opportunities as well. You obviously have missed a couple of month's worth of news items reporting on the wide uptake in corporate IT of the iPad and iPhone. My own Fortune 50 company is scaling down BES/Blackberry for iPhone/Android, and has a number of programming teams building corporate apps for our various business operations and have deployed thousands of iPads to staff.
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post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

The government, like many corporate organizations are looking at the iPad BECAUSE it has a robust developer toolset, has a controlled app delivery system (including corporate-centric app stores that the general public doesn't get to see), and the gov has already dealt with a number of issues from the Microsoft perspective. Microsoft has to provide onsite support staff for most larger corporate customers with wide Microsoft systems exposure, just to keep the systems up and running. Android can not only be tweaked to their needs - it can also provide excellent hacking opportunities as well. You obviously have missed a couple of month's worth of news items reporting on the wide uptake in corporate IT of the iPad and iPhone. My own Fortune 50 company is scaling down BES/Blackberry for iPhone/Android, and has a number of programming teams building corporate apps for our various business operations and have deployed thousands of iPads to staff.

As I mentioned, our Fortune top 100 has forgone the iphone. I didnt miss it, they did.
BTW IMO and Im no expert, not sure I agree with your hacking rationale... there is many facets to hacking and security etc. I could argue that hacking hasnt gone on much in phones etc because of other oppurtunities. Also, government hacking... well, who knows.
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post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

I think it is due to the defense dept decision to go with Android phones. They are waiting for the final defense dept decision on tablets.

There was no decision to "go with Android phones". There has been only one android phone (Dell Android 2.2: the 4.1-inch Venue, which is no longer available) that has so far managed to pass DISA testing.
iOS devices and others are still undergoing testing.
post #29 of 29
IPad 2s are one of the options for the Air Mobility Command procurement, although it also said it would consider "brand name or equal" devices as long as they are new items supported by a manufacturer's warranty and not from the gray market, according to the presolicitation. My money is on a Android tablet, not because I have any ill thoughts against the iPad as I think it's a good product but traditionally the US Government will go for the lowest bid and that defiantly wont be Apple.

It will be interesting to come back to this story in a few months when they finally purchase the tablets, I got a hundred on Samsung.
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