NYPD replacing 36,000 smartphones with iPhones

The NYPD has to scrap the 36,000 smartphones it gave cops over the past two years because they’re already obsolete and can’t be upgraded, The Post has learned.

The city bought Microsoft-based Nokia smartphones as part of a $160 million NYPD Mobility Initiative that Mayor Bill de Blasio touted as “a huge step into the 21st century.”

But just months after the last phone was handed out, officials plan to begin replacing them all with brand-new iPhones by the end of the year, sources said.

It’s baffling that the NYPD went with the Microsoft-based phones in the first place. It was a costly mistake, but at least they’re making the right choice now.



  • NB

    Yeah, I’m shocked the NYPD could do something so aggressively boneheaded. Real shining light of competence, that organization.

  • Caleb Hightower

    It never ceases to amaze me the DEEP idiocracies that prevail in NYC.

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    This isn’t an NYPD issue. It’s an IT issue. You’d be surprised at how many IT people have a deep irrational hate of all things Apple. I’ll ask them why and they can never give me a good reason. It’s pretty pathetic. This decision was made by one of them, and hopefully it cost them their job.

    • Humus

      They have tons of Microsoft certifications and are afraid of something else because they know nothing about it.

    • NB

      This but likely also they got a good deal from MS, who were really trying to make mobile work when this happened

  • Mo

    Smells like crony contract. I imagine the NYPD’s CTO is still enjoying his yacht right about now.

  • Humus
  • Reading the actual article, they needed the Windows Phones initially as their Surveillance programs were Microsoft based. Not sure what’s changed to enable the switch, but that’s why the choice needed to be made at the time.

    • Mo

      “At that time, neither iOS nor Android phones allowed us to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications… “A year ago, we learned that improvements in Apple controls would allow NYPD to responsibly and cost effectively move our mobility initiative to the Apple platform.”

      I wonder what changed. What “improvements in Apple controls” is she referring to?

  • JoeSpaulding

    “No one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft/Windows”. Didn’t that used to be a saying?

  • James Hughes

    “Initiative that Mayor Bill de Blasio touted as “a huge step into the 21st century.””

    I literally laughed out loud.

  • Heos Phorus

    interesting. austrian police just ordered 6500 iphones and 3500 ipads. i guess those are easier to manage and a safer bet than the fragmented and ever changing world of android phones. apple’s high security standards will also help, probably 🙂

    otoh, it goes both ways. i’ve heard the nypd is using guns by austrian manufacturer glock.

  • EVula

    “I don’t care if you’re Jesus fucking Christ, you get a panel of experts.”

    Hilarious quote.

  • John Kordyback

    A lot of IT spending is based on GOA – Golf Oriented Architecture.

    Basically it’s whatever the sales person and the IT Director agreed to on the golf course.

  • John Kordyback
  • alandanziger

    It cost SOMEONE a bunch of money, but the price of the phones – on a 2-year upgrade cycle – was built into the contract, from what I read. So it’s annoying for the NYPD who had to learn a dead platform, but the city won’t pay for the new phones directly. Could have been a lot worse…

    • John Kordyback

      The hardware costs are one thing but infrastructure and people costs are often hidden in these types of changes. Switching platforms, as opposed to an upgrade, is significant.

      • adambadam

        I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle here. The NY Post spins this as the phones were bought “as part” of a $160M IT refresher — keyword part. It does not delve into the actual cost of the Windows phones. If they got a deal on them (which won’t surprise me since I am sure MSFT wanted a good use case) perhaps this is almost a moot story. If they bought them at FMV, even then, as OP pointed out, a two year upgrade cycle is also not crazy. Yes, there are switching costs, and other hidden back-end costs to deploy at the scale the NYPD demands, but fortunately most officers are probably pretty familiar with iPhones as they more likely than not already have a personal one just based on usage statistics in the US.