In spite of one-time plans to adopt between 15,000 and 20,000 iPads, London's Metropolitan Police have so far deployed just 641 units, and don't have any immediate plans to deploy more, a report revealed on Tuesday.
The units deployed so far were given to officers in the borough of Fulham and Hammersmith as part of a trial between July 2014 and March 2015, according to a Freedom of Information request by The Inquirer. The police spent some Â£6 million ($8.56 million) on the project, including Â£1.2 million ($1.71 million) on the iPads and other hardware, and Â£4.1 million ($5.85 million) on software development, such as databases for mobile operations. 12 tablets had to be replaced.
A Met spokesperson explained that although all 641 tablets are still in use, and data is still being collected, the trial didn't result in the police force deciding to buy more iPads.
Nevertheless, some of the software and other backend systems used weren't iPad-specific, and could be reused as part of a broader effort to roll out mobile devices to officers. Indeed iPads could still theoretically be deployed to more people, but the Met spokesperson explained that there's no deadline for when it will make a decision on which technology it wants. It is, however, hoping to procure some equipment later this year and judge how officers can take advantage of mobile technology.
Large-scale deployments have helped boost Apple's iPad sales, though they've still been on the decline for the past several quarters. These include sales to schools, hospitals, airlines, and other organizations.