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Medtronic CIO buys 4,500 iPads for show and tell

By Patrick Thibodeau
November 8, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - Medtronic Inc., which makes medical devices, may be one of the earliest and biggest corporate buyers of Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet. CIO Michael Hedges has purchased 4,500 iPads for his company, which employs 40,000 people.

The iPad was released on April 3, a Saturday, and Hedges quickly arranged to buy 10 iPads to ship to a trade show in Germany the following Wednesday.

Normally, Medtronic has large and very expensive displays at its booth, but in this case it loaded up the iPads with product information and then put them on display.

The iPad wasn't being sold yet in Europe, and the devices were an immediate hit, Hedges recalled at a Gartner Inc. event last month.

"It was such a huge success, because people came to our booth not to look at the Medtronic product but to look at the iPad," he said. "I didn't care -- I just wanted them at the booth."

But Hedges bought many more iPads because they offer instant access to data and video, a particularly important attribute when showing product information to customers. Hedges added that the iPad's instant-on capability was a key feature for the business.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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