PC vs Machead: Gregor and his key staff will turn in Canada's RIM for Apple
It was a story so silly that it even left us scratching our heads. But what the heck, here goes.
Mayor Gregor Robertson decreed that he and council, plus his staff need Apple iPads and state-of-the-art iPhone 4 handsets, and 15 of each of the units are to be ordered through Vancouver's IT department.
In case you've not noticed already, Canada's Blackberry devices produced by Ontario's Research in Motion company, are the device du jour for cities and other levels of government across the continent. However, there is that "hipness factor" which apparently is drawing Hizonner into the Apple fold.
Yes, it seems that in order to be seen as a "progressive" government, it makes more sense for Robertson & co., and the City Manager to be carrying around iPads and iPhone 4s.
Now, of course this produces massive headaches for IT departments, who by nature have one set of support and security protocols across the board. But we're told that the City Manager effectively told staff – if that's what the Mayor wants, that's what he gets.
Coun. Suzanne Anton, who recently purchased her own iPhone but also totes around a City-issued Blackberry quipped when asked if the City bought her Apple device, "I prefer the more secure Canadian device for City business actually. I know nothing about any plans for us to switch."
Why our City elected officials can't get by with Blackberry devices, given their competitive offering, The Torch, is not clear. It certainly makes sense to us that Canadian politicians might want to be proud of the home grown device. We'll wait for Mayor Gregor to respond, before he jumps on a jet to China of course.
UPDATE: City of Vancouver communications is denying any devices are "on order" and there is "nothing in the pipeline," and Mayor's office staffers are saying it's just a rumour. The last time the Mayor's office told media we made stuff up (when we reported that Penny Ballem was getting her 4% raise when asking managers to take a pay freeze), it turns out we were right.
We'll stick to our original story unless someone can prove categorically that the Apple device purchase was not in the works. We'll see what comes from our FOIs on this subject.
Folks, we may have just saved you a few more grand in taxpayer dollars by flagging this one.
- post by Mike