BBC bosses have splashed out on thousands of iPhones, iPads and trendy Mac computers worth around £500,000, it emerged today.
The corporation is signing off purchase orders or contract deals for more than 200 glitzy Apple products a month, shock figures show – despite announcing 2,000 job losses last month.
It has more than trebled its intake of the high-end hardware this year alone.
A BBC source said the news ‘beggars belief’.
‘Thousands of staff are being thrown on the scrap heap while bosses deck out the whole corporation with the most fancy gear on the market,’ they said.
‘Some of the offices are starting to look like Apple outlet centres.’
New figures show the corporation has used its own central ‘procurement service’ to buy 527 glitzy iPhones, iPads and Macs since September 2009.
According to data it bought 254 iPads with a retail value of an estimated £90,000, 14 iPhones at £3,000, and 259 Mac computers or laptops at £388,000.
The BBC insists the purchases would have been discounted under a ‘major account pricing program’ with Apple Sales International.
Under the scheme staff can buy Apple gear from ‘nominated resellers’ although the level of discount varies according to product.
The BBC also has a ‘technology framework contract’ with <u>French</u> IT giant Atos which has supplied 2,074 iPhones and Macs under a ‘third party’ deal.
It included the supply of 937 Apple Macs and 1,137 iPhones with figures showing numbers have shot up by 250 per cent in the last nine months alone.
But the agreement doesn’t include iPads which are not ‘not approved for general use’ by staff, who must get special permission from managers for the tablet computers.
In total the figures – obtained under Freedom of Information laws – show a staggering 2,601 Apple products have been purchased in the last 24 months.
That figure doesn’t include BBC regions after the corporation said it was too expensive to find out how many might have been snapped up.
The BBC defended its use of the trendy gear insisting it helped deliver quality services to audiences (They come up with some crap don’t they).
It said: ‘The BBC regularly trials new and alternative devices to test how they work with our systems and to see how they can help us deliver the best possible services to audiences.’
And it said the costs of Apple kit were ‘in line’ or lower than alternative providers when support costs were taken into account.
It was revealed yesterday that the BBC is spending thousands of pounds teaching staff how to use their iPhones.
Employees given the smart phones for work will be shown how to ‘record audio and video and take still pictures’ (Like most children can already do!).
There will also be sections on iPhone ‘safety’, ‘dos and don’ts’ and tips on how to ‘maximise battery life’.
IN DEPTH: AUNTIE’S SPENDING SPREE
According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information act the BBC bought:
- 254 iPads with a retail value of an estimated £90,000
- 14 iPhones at £3,000
- 259 Mac computers or laptops at £388,000
- 2,601 Apple products have been purchased in the last 24 months…and that figure doesn’t include BBC regions