NYPD Expected to Replace 35,000+ Windows Phones With iPhones Starting This Year
Less than a year after completing a rollout of Windows Phones to its entire police force, New York City Police Department officials plan to begin replacing them with iPhones by the end of the year, according to the New York Post.
The report didn't specify whether the NYPD will opt to use one of Apple's latest iPhone models, or an older model like the iPhone 6. Apple is also widely rumored to announce the so-called iPhone 8 with an OLED display in September, although the high-end device may be out of the department's price range.
In October 2014, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials announced plans to roll out 35,000 handheld devices to every NYPD officer for the first time ever, along with tablets for every patrol car. De Blasio said the major $160 million initiative would help bring the department into the 21st century.
The NYPD's smartphones of choice were Nokia's Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL, released in October 2014 and March 2015 respectively. The since-discontinued devices run Windows Phone 8.1, which Microsoft ended support for in July to focus on its newer Windows 10 Mobile platform and cloud-based services.
The devices provide police officers with expanded search capabilities, including access to the majority of NYPD databases, and the ability to conduct various record checks from the field in a timelier manner. The devices also provide real-time 911 call data, often prior to radio dispatch, the department said in 2014.
The NYPD's choice of Windows Phones raised some eyebrows given iOS and Android combined have over 99 percent market share of smartphone operating systems, according to research firm IDC.
The department insisted on Microsoft-based smartphones in part because it was already using Microsoft software to run the video-surveillance program at its Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center, according to the New York Post. The devices were also more affordable than iPhones.
A spokesman for the NYPD said the department wouldn't comment on the matter until its Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology Jessica Tisch returned from vacation later today, the report said.
Update: The New York Police Department has confirmed it will begin transitioning to iPhones for its 36,000 police officers in the fall. It also said its mobility initiative has made NYPD police officers "more agile" in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent.