Apple may get an order from the U.S. Air Force for as many as 18,000 units of its latest tablet, the iPad 2, according to a posting by the U.S. military branch in a government procurement website.
However, the U.S. Air Force also said that it is open to purchasing other tablets from other manufacturers and that it may also buy only 63 units of the tablet it chooses.
The armed service is apparently considering purchasing many tablets do digitize content and cut down on the use of paper to print manuals and charts for its pilots and flight crews.
The notice came from the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command and is a request for proposals from companies who may be interested in supplying it with 63 up to 18,000 tablets.
The notice listed “iPad 2, Brand Name or Equal devices” in the notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website of the U.S. government.
Apart from the Apple iPad 2, other contenders may be Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab or Motorola’s Xyboard tablet.
If Apple gets the order from the U.S. military branch, it would mark a win for Apple not only because of the possibly massive order but because it has long been trying to win contracts with U.S. government agencies.