Air Force Could Buy Up to 18,000 iPad 2s

US Air ForceApple may soon see significant success with their efforts to become more adopted and utilized by the United States federal government with the Air Force considering the purchase of as many as 18,000 iPad tablets.

This news was made public with a notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website that indicated these types of devices will be used to lighten the loads of flight crews in ways we have seen with other commercial airlines.

The benefits have been seen time and again with over 40lbs of manuals and flight charts being replaced by a single iPad, with other benefits also being realized such as quick contextual search, increased security and easy updating as information becomes out of date.

As Bloomberg reported, the Air Force is only one of a host of government departments adopting Apple products (especially in light of the poor performance given by Research in Motion lately, the currently front-runner for the government’s money and attention). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration allows their employees to use iPads and iPhones to conduct department business as does the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Apple isn’t the only other contender of course. Android tablets have found their way to military locations such as Afghanistan and there are others considering these alternative devices. While the indications are all leading to Apple seeing most of the purchase dollars, manufacturers like Samsung with their Galaxy Tab or Motorola’s Xoom may be well advised to find an angle and incentive.

Taking over the federal government business is going to be heavily rooted in security and support, which fortunately for Apple are two areas in which they excel… though RIM has long been the front-runner for secured mobile communications. Hopefully Apple is ready for the scrutiny, because if holes are found it may result in a trickle-down loss of consumer confidence.

Adoption of the iPad could make a lot of sense from the brand loyalty perspective. With a full lineup of devices from desktops to laptops to tablets to smartphones, this new market could find corporate stability and full interoperability in a relationship formed with Apple.

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