This year is the U.S. census year, according tomedia, which means that thousands of population investigators will soon go door-to-door. But this year they may be equipped with a familiar device instead of a pen and a writing board. It is understood that the U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years, but 2020 will be an important milestone in this historic event.
It will be the first census in which all American families can respond online. Thanks to a multimillion-dollar project, people conducting the census themselves will no longer use paper forms instead of using the iPhone 8.
For the 2020 census, the U.S. government signed a contract with CDW-G, an Illinois-based company that leases half a million iPhone 8s for census workers, known as investigators, who will go door-to-door to count the population.
“We are proud that the U.S. Census Bureau will use the iPhone to collect and manage 2020 census data,” an Apple spokesman told CNET.
Officials estimate that about 60 percent of people will respond to census questionnaires online, by phone or email, but the rest will be counted by census takers. According to the official 2020 census plan, nearly half a million temporary workers will be employed across the country between May and August.
As for why the bureau chose the iPhone 8, according to CNET, the combination of familiarity, stability and security is what attracted Census Bureau officials to choose Apple’s mobile operating system.
Initially, though, CDW-G proposed the iPhone 6, but after Apple released the iPhone 8 in 2017, the company realized it could upgrade to an updated model without raising prices.
By the end of the census around August, the Census Bureau will return half a million Apple smartphones to CDW-G.
In fact, this isn’t the first time the U.S. Census Bureau has tried to push constitutional events into the modern era. In fact, efforts to equip census workers with digital equipment date back to the 2010 census. In 2006, the agency partnered with Harris Corporation, a defense company, to supply 600,000 custom-built HTC PDAs for census workers, but the project was abandoned in 2008 – before the census began.