U.S. Air Force awards $9.36 million contract for 18,000 Apple iPad 2 units

“The U.S. Air Force awarded a $9.36 million contract to buy as many as 18,000 Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad 2s in one of the military’s largest orders of computer tablets,” Brendan McGarry reports for Bloomberg.

“Air Mobility Command announced the award today to Executive Technology Inc., a Phoenix-based computer services company, Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a military spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview,” McGarry reports. “Taking a cue from commercial airlines, the service will use the tablets to replace the bags of paper manuals and navigation charts carried by pilots and navigators.”

McGarry reports, “The type of iPad the command is buying retails for $599, Ferrero said. The Air Force would buy it at a discount for about $520 a device, she said. The product comes with wireless connectivity and 32 gigabytes of memory, she said. The contract allows the Air Force to buy as many as 18,000 of the devices within a year of the award date, which was yesterday, Ferrero said.”

“The Air Force has already bought 63 iPad 2s from Executive Technology, Ferrero said. The devices will be delivered within 30 days and undergo testing, she said,” McGarry reports. “The competition drew 24 proposals from interested companies, Ferrero said. She wouldn’t name the companies…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: On again, off again, on again. Oh well, all’s well that ends well!

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

Related articles:
Air Force Special Operations Command cancels purchase of 2,861 iPad 2 units – February 22, 2012
U.S. Air Force ready to buy up to 18,000 Apple iPads for cargo plane crews – February 8, 2012
U.S. Air Force backs off plans to focus exclusively on Apple iPad for electronic flight bags – January 13, 2012
FAA approves iPads in the cockpit; American Airlines to start Friday – December 13, 2011
All Nippon Airways to deploy 6,000 Apple iPads to train stewards – September 22, 2011
Qantas trials Apple iPads as in-flight entertainment option – September 15, 2011
United Continental pilots get 11,000 Apple iPads – August 23, 2011
British Airways brings new dimension to customer service using Apple iPads – August 18, 2011
Delta gives Apple iPads to pilots as electronic flight bag replacements – August 17, 2011
Apple’s revolutionary iPad creates the paperless cockpit – July 5, 2011
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Mission-critical Apple iPads in cockpits may hasten end of era for paper charts – March 7, 2011
FAA authorizes use of Jeppesen app on iPad to replace paper aeronautical charts – February 16, 2011
Fokker and Navtech introduces Electronic Flight Bag hardware for Apple’s revolutionary iPad – January 28, 2011


  1. So will they be iPad3’s or HD’s or what ever they will call or is it too late. You would thnk someone would pay attation to what’s going in the Apple world????

    1. there’s no way it will be the new model iPad… The new model will be required to go through the same 8-9 month testing process before it will be approved to buy…i

      1. Absolutely no way Apple would retool production lines to make a custom version for the Air Force, or anybody for that matter. Apple sell that many iPads in a couple of days.


  2. Q: How many iPads do you need to build a bunker buster bomb?

    A: They’re so light you need 18,000 of them packed into a slimline aerodynamic capsule.

    Bonus point: With the inbuilt GPS on the 3G models, they can be sent straight to Ahmadinejad’s bunker post haste.

  3. Given that the iPads are replacing paper manuals, and supplementing onboard instruments that could be 20 years old, I don’t think having last year’s iPad is a huge biggest problem. And before anyone complains about the government being inefficient in requiring eight or nine months of testing to put a new instrument in the cockpit, recall that they are responsible for the safety of hundred thousand pound wads of metal and gasoline flying around at up to several times the speed of sound… In some cases with bombs strapped to them…

  4. For what they want to do, which is to replace paper-based content, an iPad 2 is more than sufficient. Apple will have to keep making the 32GB iPad 2 for at least one year (from yesterday), or set aside 18,000 (plus a sufficient number of replacements).

        1. Oh sure, complain about the one example of “like” that’s used properly–expressing similarity between two things, instead of a hanging pause similar to um, er, ah etc.

    1. Why? Have you not read previous posts? The iP2 will have already gone through rigorous evaluation. The iP3 won’t, so they’d have to start from scratch. Plus, for the purpose that these will be used for, navigation charts, systems check lists, etc, an iP2 will be perfectly adequate. And cheaper.

    1. Totally unrelated purchases. This is (potentially) 18,000 iPads for the Air Mobility Command. The earlier story concerned 2,861 iPads for Special Operations.

      Electronista confused them, too.
      “Despite talk that it had cancelled the deal, the US Air Force on Friday pledged itself to a contract to buy up to 18,000 iPads.”


    1. not necessarily. they aren’t buying these from apple, they are buying them from a company that has bought/will buy them from apple. so the company winning the contract now has to guarantee that they can supply 18,000 iPad 2s over the course of the next year.

      1. Don’t know why the Air Force has to give taxpayer dollars to a middleman. Maybe the middleman is a close buddy of the guy in charge of the Air Force purse.

        1. Morons-channel partners get better discounts…morons. Apple is not a ENTERPRISE company…remember?

          call apple and ask the cost per device for 3000. then call a reseller.

          ZIP IT

    1. Because they will probably be modified for USAF specific requirements by Executive Technology….something Apple doesn’t have the time or desire to entertain.

  5. $520 for a 32Gb iPad., wow, the government/military is getting better at negotiating. Imagine getting an iPad for less than a toilet seat, or a hammer….. Good Job!

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