U.S. Army wants to issues every soldier an Apple iPhone; other devices including iPads being tested

Apple Online Store“The Army wants to issue every soldier an iPhone or Android cellphone — it could be a soldier’s choice,” Joe Gould and Michael Hoffman report for Army Times. “And to top it off, the Army wants to pay your monthly phone bill.”

MacDailyNews Take: Most soldiers, like most civilians, will choose iPhone over a pale imitation:
• Google’s Android nightmare: More than half of all Verizon subscribers want an Apple iPhone – August 16, 2010
• Survey shows significant number of Verizon customers covet Apple iPhones – May 24, 2010
• Survey: Verizon customers suffer from iPhone jealousy – May 10, 2010
• ChangeWave: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhones – May 05, 2010

Gould and Hoffman report, “To most soldiers, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s real, said Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC). He said the Army would issue these smartphones just like any other piece of equipment a soldier receives. ‘One of the options potentially is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier’s clothing bag,’ Vane said.”

“In February, the Army plans to begin fielding phones, network equipment and applications to the first Army brigade to be modernized under the brigade combat team modernization program. That test will not be limited to smart phones but will include any electronic devices that may be useful to troops,” Gould and Hoffman report. “‘We’re looking at everything from iPads to Kindles to Nook readers to mini-projectors,’ said Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss.”

Gould and Hoffman report, “The Army plans to roll out wireless Common Access Card readers for the iPhone in January and for Android phones in April. This would give soldiers secure access to their e-mail, contacts and calendars.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. That’d be great!

    But most of what is on the Army Knowledge Online website iseems married to Internet Explorer and Windows, certainly you can’t do any forms from a Mac yet.

    I’ll believe it when I get issued any device.

  2. FaceTime interrogations with translators at the CIA in the USA, take a picture where you are and the GPS 3D map pops up highlighting the enemy’s locations, iPhone views the streaming surveillance from the remote robotic drone, … there is an app for that!

  3. We jest, but this is amazing. The Army frees itself from the maze and nightmare of the PBX system on every base. No reassignment of phone numbers/ contact info every time a soldier changes assignments. You’re in the Army now, connected 24/7. Wonder who the low bidder will be? Sprint? T-Mobile?

  4. This is a stupid idea.

    Another piece of gear for soldiers to keep up with, another piece of gear that could potentially fall into enemy hands, and another way for the military to pay for something else with tax-payer dollars.

    If soldiers want / need an iPhone, they can / will find a way to pay for it themselves.

    Before you start flaming, understand that I am a DoD contract civilian stationed in Germany and that I work with soldiers every day.

    They also think that this is a ridiculous idea and that it’s not gonna happen.

    MaWo: ‘less’. As in, “… is more.”

  5. Somehow I struggle to believe this although I hope it is true. The army will want to alter the phone so that it can take a beating…Jonathan Ives will presumably disagree with that.

    Imagine…soldiers will only be allowed to cary Celine Dion music so when captured, it will ironically torture their captors.

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