iPhone 11Source: iMore

What you need to know

  • The US Census Bureau will use iOS devices in the 2020 US Census.
  • Apple announced the partnership during its earnings call yesterday.
  • iOS will hopefully bring better user experience, privay and reduced costs.

One of the most interesting pieces of news to come from Apple's earnings call yesterday was the news that the US Census Bureau will use hundreds of thousands of Apple devices to support the 2020 US Census.

In the call, Tim Cook said:

We're also helping government agencies around the world use technologies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the way they deliver critical services to the public. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau is making fundamental changes to the design and implementation of next year's census, with the goal of producing quality results by reducing costs by leveraging the mobility, user experience, and privacy of iOS. Hundreds of thousands of Apple devices will be deployed this fiscal year to support an innovative new model for the collection and management of census data. And we are proud that our products will play an important role in driving quality to this critical initiative while safeguarding the privacy and security of this data. CDW — Apple's partner in this initiative —will also utilize Apple Financial Services — our enterprise financing platform — to help minimize the cost to the public by taking advantage of the uniquely strong residual value of Apple devices.

Clearly, the US government believes that by enlisting the help of Apple it can shake up census-taking for the better in 2020. There are no specific details as to how this deal will play out just yet. Obviously, if Apple can provide iOS devices to the Bureau with the effect of reducing the cost of census-taking, whilst making the process more efficient and intuitive for both the government and the population, then that can only be a good thing.

Apple published its full Q4 earnings for 2019 yesterday, and you can read a full transcript of the call, including the news about the 2020 US census here.