Last year, in all its wiseness, the New York City Police Department decided to equip its police force with Windows Phone running smartphones. In total, the NYPD gave away 36,000 smartphones to its officers over the last two years. Now, with Microsoft all but abandoning the platform, NYPD now aims to equp its police officers with iPhones by the end of this year.
The deal with Microsoft-owned Nokia cost the NYPD $160 million and was heralded as a “huge step into the 21st century” by Mayor Bill de Blasio back then. As a part of the deal, the NYPD got two phones from Nokia: the Lumia 830 and the Lumia 640XL. Microsoft had also developed special custom apps to suit the NYPD’s needs.
However, with Microsoft now deciding to not support Windows Phone and almost a dozen custom apps it had developed, the NYPD is now being forced to switch to iPhones.
The decision to hand over Windows Phones by the NYPD to its police officers last year was met with a lot of criticism. The decision was apparently taken by NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch who “drove the whole process.” Despite her title though, Tisch’s decision made little sense back then as Windows Phone’s market share in the US was in low single digits compared to Android and iPhone.
For now, it is unclear which iPhone the NYPD now plans on giving to its officers, though sources do suggest that NYPD might roll out the iPhone 6 to its officers. Even if the NYPD ends up giving an iPhone 6 to its officers, it is going to offer a longer shell life and features than Microsoft’s Windows Phone smartphones.