iPhone for business is a no brainer. Apple’s popular phone has everything businesses want. Privacy. Security. App selection. An option for custom made apps for employees. Steady iOS security releases. An easily defined distinction between price and cost (ToC; total cost of ownership). Those combine to make iPhone the smartphone of choice in most enterprise IT environments.
What about cops?
Back up about three years ago to a wonderfully optimistic headline regarding the nearly 40,000 New York Police Department officers and their new smartphones.
Windows Phones are helping the NYPD fight crime
Uh huh. The hype was so high you just knew something was wrong in the Big Apple. Jessica Tisch, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology:
It is clear that these department smart phones represent the single largest transformation in emergency communications in over a half of century for sure
Well, here we are early in 2018 and how did that program work out?
New York City is trading in its Nokia Windows Phone devices for new Apple iPhones and officers are pleased with the transition.
Windows Phone is essentially dead it is no surprise that NYC selected the Apple iPhone as the successor.
Hmmm. Could it be security? No, that can’t be right. Liam Tung from 2016:
A proposed bill in New York seeks to require that all smartphones sold in the state can be decrypted or unlocked and proposes hefty fines for vendors failing to comply. The proposed law marks the latest effort by lawmakers to make it easier for law enforcement to access and read encrypted data stored on smartphones.
Here we are two years later and NYPD has dumped Windows Phone and picked up the highly controversial iPhone as the device of choice for officers.
Isn’t such a switch from one dying platform to a prospering smartphone platform a big expense for the city and NYPD?
Even better news for taxpayers is that the police department won’t have to pay extra for the new iPhones since the department Windows Phones purchase means these iPhones are hardware upgrades included as part of its AT&T contract.
Why the switch?
The reasons go on and on but the most obvious are, well, obvious.
- Windows Phone is dead
- iPhone is prosperous
- Privacy and security are built in
- iPhones last longer
- Officers prefer iPhone
- Alternative devices suck (by comparison)
What’s not to like?
What’s interesting here is that politicians want access to smartphones because terrorism, criminals, hackers, et al. Yet, they’re willing to use the most secure devices for their own needs and those of others in national, state, and local governments.
That means no back door for anyone to get into an iPhone.
A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too
And, just as bad, if encryption is banned or compromised with back door access for average everyday Joe Citizen’s iPhone, the aforementioned terrorists, criminals, hackers, et al, would just move to their own encryption and law enforcement officials would be right back where they started, and we iPhone users would still be out in the cold with insecure devices.