Interior to Buy New iPads 'or equal'

The Interior Department's National Business Center is wasting no time prepping its order for the new, third-generation iPads, set to be released at the end of the week.

The center posted a presolicitation notice Friday saying it intends to buy at least 20 of the new tablets "or equal."

It will be tough, though, for a competitor to equal the just-announced iPads, which aren't even on sale to the public yet. People pre-ordering the tablets are reportedly facing wait times of up to three weeks.

The presolicitation notice even notes the NBC "would prefer five white and five black" tablets, the iPad's signature colors.

Interior may be the first agency to go after the new iPads, but other agencies are sure to follow. Government information technology officials have been pressing to make federal agencies more mobile friendly and to expand beyond the Blackberry-only culture.

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel plans to release a governmentwide mobile roadmap in coming weeks that will include plans to make the government more "device agnostic" and to lower the cost of wireless and data service by increasing competition and buying mobile devices in larger orders.