The agency filed contract documents (see below), as noted by Nextgov, to explain why it would only pursue contracts with Apple instead of inviting other manufactures to bid. The devices would be used to boost a "widening secure mobile computing pilot" program specifically calling for the use of iOS, the Apple operating system.
The document describes several uses for the products -- which also includes AppleTV, iPads, and iPhones -- in training and presentations, forensic investigations, security testing, iPhone application development, and video and graphics production.
There is also a hint at another request to get Google Android products in the mix.
"The other major TSA capability gap is the 'Google Android' capability which is being addressed in a separate but similar action," the document reads.
reading•TSA wants to buy $3 million worth of Macs and iDevices
Sep 23•The reviews are in for the iPhone 8/8Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K (ABEC, Ep. 102)
Sep 22•5 things we just learned from the iPhone 8 teardown
Sep 22•The reviews are in for the iPhone 8/8Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 102)
Sep 22•Speed up iOS 11 on older iPhones