Over four years ago, Delta announced that over 19,000 of its flight attendants will start using Windows Phones on board. A few years in, the continuing fall in Windows phone market share led to the company recanting its support for these phones. Now, a leaked email has revealed that Delta is finally ditching Microsoft Surface tablets and Lumia smartphones, in favor of iPhones and iPads, for thousands of its pilots and flight attendants.
Early next year, the company will be putting the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and iPhone 7 Plus in the hands of over 14,000 pilots and 23,000 flight attendants for onboard customer service, flight manuals, and more. The iPhone 7 Plus will serve as a direct replacement for the Lumia 1520, which has been used on board by the firm's employees since 2014.
Delta insists that it will still maintain its ''strong'' partnership with Microsoft, noting:
The airline continues to maintain a strong and positive partnership with Microsoft, and some of the applications used on the iPhone 7 Plus aimed at enhancing customer and employee engagement are powered by Microsoft Dynamics.
Apparently, the new devices will continue to provide most of the same features that were made available with Microsoft products. As such, a suite of tools including the personalized Guest Service Tool, Jeppesen Flight Deck Pro for flight planning, and Flight Weather Viewer Plus - the latest version of the company's Turbulence app - will still remain in play.
It seems that Apple's partnership with IBM to gain a stronger foothold in the corporate world is paying off. The seemingly obvious reason for this switch is Microsoft recently making it clear that Windows 10 mobile and hardware is no longer the company's focus.
Even though Windows mobile support for the enterprise is to continue, Microsoft has undoubtedly - and unwillingly - offered other companies like Apple a chance to cement their place in business operations. The biggest danger for the tech giant is that other firms might follow suit.