TSA eyes iPads and iPhones for mobile computing

Paul Sakuma/AP

Agency plans to spend up to $3 million for Apple products.

The agency charged with airport security plans to spend up to $3 million for 1,000 Apple computers and another 1,000 Apple handheld devices, including iPads and iPhones, over the next three years, contract documents reveal.

The devices will be used as part of a widening secure mobile computing pilot that will involve “several hundred iOS devices” across the agency, the Transportation Security Administration said in a justification and approval document showing why it would only seek products from the iPad-maker and not invite other manufacturers to bid. iOS is the operating system for Apple devices.

TSA added that it would use the devices for forensic investigations, security testing, iPhone application development, and video and graphics production.

The agency noted that with Apple’s iTunes App Store, “the availability of highly useful applications at little or no cost provides TSA an opportunity to become a more [efficient] and effective organization.” The agency also said it intends to pilot the use of Apple TV devices with iPads for training and presentations.