23 Jan 2015

Police to ditch new iPads

8:07 am on 23 January 2015

The police are looking to replace thousands of iPads they have only just finished rolling out to frontline staff.

Police have spent $4.3 million rolling out iPads and iPhones to thousands of officers over the last two years.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

At the start of the roll-out the police said an 11-month trial had shown Apple's iPads and iPhones were the best fit for officers.

But Labour Party police spokesperson Kelvin Davis said the move to start replacing more than 4000 iPads suggests otherwise.

"We're not privy to what the challenges and the problems were, and it makes you wonder what sort of due diligence went into the acquiring of the iPads and iPhones in the first place," Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis said a heavily blacked-out police document, which the Labour Party received, suggested there had been multiple problems with their Apple technology.

And he was worried about the cost to taxpayers.

"I'd hate to think that in another 18 months to two years that they're saying 'look, there's another problem' and that they need to spend another four or five million, so I hope they get it right this time."

In a statement police denied there had been widespread problems with their Apple technology, but confirmed they were looking to replace their iPads - most likely with the smaller iPhone 6 plus.

However, Green Party police spokesperson David Clendon questioned whether that was wise.

"Already there have been some concerns expressed about the strength and quality of the iPhone 6 phones. You've no doubt seen media reports of the phones bending and failing under just normal use.

"And in the fairly hectic lifestyle of police equipment, one would hope they're going to make a very careful, considered decision if they are going to upgrade," Mr Clendon said.

The national president of the Police Association Greg O'Connor said the mobile devices have been incredibly popular with police.

He said the news that an iPhone 6 plus might be on the way will go down well with the troops.

"We've got a new generation of police officers out there who love their toys, they love their technology. And when they get told, or they find out there's the possibility they'll be getting the iPhone 6 they'll be over the moon," Mr O'Connor said.

Police said they were committed to the iPhone for the foreseeable future, and stressed that their contract with Vodafone allows them to refresh their hardware every two years at no extra cost.