Airline Quantas recently announced that it will be switching from the BlackBerry to the iPhone. The Australian based company cited the reason for the switch as meeting all of the security concerns of the company, as well as easy access to emails, contact lists and calendar, as well as a simple, easy-to-use interface, according to Chief Information Officer Paul Jones. Pilots will be issued iPhones and iPads, but the company is also going to be distributing iPads to passengers, for a new entertainment program that they are implementing.
Staff members that don’t want to carry an iPhone can choose to bring their own Android device instead, but the switch will save Qantas some serious money, as the iPad will replace paper in the cockpit, and printed manuals and charts. The new iPads will have 64 Gigabytes of space and be equipped with 3G, and according to the NewStraitTimes, the airline will not only be able to improve communication, but will save around $.15 million each year.
The entertainment program that Quantas is rolling out is called QStreaming, and it will be available on the B767 aircraft. Passengers of the aircraft will have in-flight entertainment streamed directly to a device in their seat. A Quantas spokesperson called the transition part of Quantas’ “broader mobile strategy” and said that the swap would “result in significant cost savings.”
The QStreaming service will be launched as a trial this year and the airline will partner with electronics giant Panasonic, specifically using their eXW solution to give passengers more than two hundred hours of on demand content via the iPads. The streaming will be available for both Business Class and Economy Class passengers and will be free of charge.
Quantas has twenty-three of the Boeing 767 aircraft, and with each airplane equipped with around 250 seats, the company will need to purchase more than 5,0000 iPad devices. This is another example of BlackBerry customers shedding the devices which have received bad press for security risks, brought to light by the BBC. However, Apple and Android devices are ready to ship out to those customers dropping RIM.