The NYPD plans to dump all 36,000 of its Windows Phones and replace them with iPhone’s. Officials plan to begin replacing them all with brand-new iPhones by the end of the year, sources said.
The city bought Microsoft-based Nokia smartphones. As part of a $160 million NYPD Mobility Initiative. Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted as a huge step into the 21st century. But just months after the last phone was handed out. The move follows Microsoft’s recent decision to stop supporting the operating system that runs the NYPD’s devices. Law enforcement sources blamed the project on NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch, with one saying.
Technology experts had long questioned the NYPD’s decision to choose Microsoft-based phones. Those that run on Google’s Android software or Apple’s iOS.
The NYPD’s decision to go with Microsoft’s mobile operating system seems to confound more than a few. Since Windows Phone’s 2.3 percent US market share is anemic when compared to Android’s 65.2 percent and iOS’s 30.9 percent.
The NYPD bought two models of Nokia phones: the Lumia 830, first released in October 2014, and the Lumia 640XL, which was rolled out in March 2015. By comparison, Apple unveiled its iPhone 6 in September 2014 and has since updated its flagship product three times. Both of the NYPD phones and their Microsoft-engineered apps run on the Windows 8.1 operating system, which the company announced it would no longer support after July 11.
Sources said Tisch, whose late grandfather co-founded the Loews Corp. conglomerate, insisted on Microsoft-based phones. Because the NYPD was already using Microsoft software to run the video surveillance program at its Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center.
Even then-NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton acknowledged Tisch’s role in the decision-making process when officials announced the smartphone plan in October 2014. Despite the Microsoft phones hailed by both NYPD brass and the rank and file for giving cops the ability to receive alerts. Search law enforcement databases, file reports and even watch in real time as 911 dispatchers type up emergency calls.
An NYPD spokesman said the department wouldn’t discuss the cellphone situation until Tisch returned from vacation Monday.