New Zealand Police Join Aussie Treasury in Choosing iPhone over BlackBerry

Andrew Klips  |

Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY), the stock formerly known as Research in Motion, are continuing their pattern of volatility on Thursday morning, aided in part by news that the New Zealand police force has picked iOS devices made by Apple, Inc. (AAPL) over BlackBerry’s newest devices.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, along with Police Minister Anne Tolley and Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said that there will be a shift in part of its business from Telecom’s Gen-I division to Vodafone. The decision follows a nearly year-long smartphone trial by about 100 members of the police force in 2012.

The officials said that about 6,000 frontline officers will be receiving Apple’s new iPhone 5s starting this summer and running through the middle of 2014. Additionally, about 3,900 of those officers that deal with more complex data entry will be given a new iPad, according to New Zealand’s National Business Review.

The total deal will exceed $160 million over the next decade, including about $4.3 million in up front costs. New Zealand sees it as they will be getting the majority of their money back in productivity, not too mention simply more boot time with cops protecting the streets. The police believe that the dealings will return $305 million in extra productivity across the 10 years.

Prime Minister Key said that the technology launch will equate to an additional 520,000 hours on the street, the same as having 345 more staff members. Evaluation of the trial showed that there was a savings of 30 minutes per shift because officers were able to input and receive data remotely, rather than trekking back to a desk. On that same beat, Police Minister Tolley advised that technology is not replacing officers and no jobs would be cut. “This is about getting more frontline hours,” she explained.

It was only a few years ago that BlackBerry commanded the attention of government agencies, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based company has be losing its grip to other makers, namely Apple and Andoid devices running Google (GOOG) technology. The latest news came on the heels that Aussie police were also making the shift to iPhones and iPads.

Early in the month, the Australian Treasury Department said that it was switching from BlackBerry to Apple over the next one to two months now that the Defence Signals Directorate has certified iOS for government use. ZDNet Australia reported that the Treasury would be replacing 250 BlackBerries with the new Apple 5s. Moreover, the agency said it will also be handing-out iPads to staffers and officials as well, but didn’t disclose any figures.

Blackberry was also dealt a blow to its once-stronghold on government agencies last October when about 17,700 Blackberries were swapped for iPhones by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Shares of BBRY have bounced well off early session lows after an hour of trading, but are still down by 1.5 percent at $13.80. Shares of Apple are also down, lower by 0.1 percent at $466.60.

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