Air Force Expects to Save Over $50 Million in 10 Years by Using iPads
May 17, 2013 12:26 PM
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It will save $5.7 million annually
The U.S. Air Force is
making use of iPads
instead of heavy flight manuals, and it's saving quite a bit of money in doing so.
The Air Force said it would save over $50 million in the next 10 years thanks to its recent deployment of iPads. The iPads eliminate the need to print thousands of flights manuals on paper, which proves to be heavy on planes.
According to Major Brian Moritz, Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program manager, removing all of the paper alone results in $750,000 in fuel savings annually (since the extra weight requires extra fuel). Weight varies from 250 pounds in a four-person C-17 up to 490 pounds in a C-5 with 10 crewmembers.
Add this to print and distribution costs, and Moritz said the Air Force is saving $5.7 million per year with the iPads. This equates to over $50 million in a 10-year period.
The Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC) scored a $9.36 million contract to deploy 18,000 iPads. Today, AMC aircrews are using about 16,000 of those iPads while the other 2,000 are being distributed amongst other Air Force units.
Aside from just cost savings, the iPads also prove to be helpful in finding information quickly. The keyword search alone helps pilots work more efficiently in emergency situations instead of searching through dense manuals.
Apple has been working its way into the military through more than just iPads, though (and to more branches than just the Air Force). In March of this year, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) planned to
purchase 650,000 iOS devices
. This included 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod Touches, and over 20,000 iPhones.
The purchase was to replace old BlackBerry handsets.
Earlier this month, the DOD
approved the use of Samsung smartphones
running a secure version of Android called Knox. Other versions of Android and Apple's iOS are currently awaiting approval as well. These decisions are expected to be made by the end of May.
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5/17/2013 2:08:24 PM
Ipads aren't $250 either, average price of the 10" ipads start at $400... but there are more $200-300 price range 10" android tablets than 10" Apple devices...
Android should have a big leg up here due to easy customization and much cheaper price.
5/17/2013 5:26:27 PM
If you're buying 650,000 iOS devices in a single contract, you're probably not paying retail prices.
10" android tablets that are comparable to the iPad are priced about the same. You won't find a retina-class Android tablet for $200-300, and the resolution definitely does make a difference for their intended use case. You can probably find one for $50 less than the cheapest iPad, but the aspect ratio might be an issue. I don't know what size existing flight manuals are, but an 8.5x11 document has an aspect ratio very close to the iPad's 4:3, while most of the high-res Android tablets are 16:9 or 16:10, which won't work well with 8.5x11 pages.
5/18/2013 5:25:34 PM
You can't say that they would get a discount on Apple devices because of the quantity and then not apply that to any other device as well.
And then you go and talk about how the resolution matters when something like the Nexus 10 has a similar resolution. The aspect ratio could be an issue, but I really don't know. I don't know what kind of stuff is in those manuals. If it's a bunch of pictures then it's more of an issue than if it's words since having the whole picture on the screen at once is usually preferred.
You only bring speculation to the table.
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