iPad for the enterprise? Maybe
Analysts are split on whether the new device will fit in at work
Computerworld - If Apple Inc.'s new iPad is going to make its way into large business settings, IT managers will first need to do some careful evaluations, because even tech analysts are split on the idea.
Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., blogged yesterday that the iPad will most likely enter the enterprise through the consumer door -- just as the iPhone did.
"Make no mistake, this is an attractive business tool," Schadler wrote. "Laptops will be left at home."
But Phillip Redman at Gartner Inc., and Steve Hilton at Analysys Mason, disagree. In separate e-mail comments, both said that the iPad doesn't fit into the enterprise at all.
"Not enterprise material," Hilton wrote, noting that the iPad lacks common office productivity tools, uses a custom chip set and lasts only 10 hours on battery when Wi-Fi isn't running.
Schadler's case in favor of using the iPad in big business settings was fairly detailed. He noted, for instance, that 20% of companies already support iPhones, and the iPad is "just a big iPhone to them."
Citing Apple's historic ability to time its products for the market, Schadler said the iPad is designed for information workers who have taken to equipping themselves with the tools they need, rather than simply using what their employers provide. Schadler calls that trend "technology populism."
Noting that mobile professionals make up 28% of the workforce, Schadler added that the iPad "offers some superior characteristics for the things that mobile professionals care about." And the things they care about include messaging and collaboration; a full Web experience -- which the iPad offers with its 9.7-in. screen; access to business media -- which users will get with features like the iPad's New York Times app; and full-size document tools -- which the iPad offers with its support of iWorks.
He even suggested that Microsoft start building iPad software into the Office format. "This thing will take off among high-net-worth mobile pros," he said.
Au contraire, Hilton said in an e-mail. "I don't see a fit at all [with enterprise users]," he said, arguing that the iPad really will be a niche product that fits into the netbook market generally.
"It befuddles us that Apple seeks to kill the netbook segment," added Hilton. "The netbook was committing hari-kari just fine without the iPad."
The good news for techies trying to decide whether the iPad will do well in the enterprise is this: There's time to make a decision. The Wi-Fi-only model doesn't go on sale for 60 days, and the pricier Wi-Fi-plus-3G model won't hit the streets until the end of April, according to Apple.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, send e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed .
- Apple plays hardball with iPad Mini reveal
- Apple breezes to PC sales' top spot as Windows share decays
- Analyst tallies perks of September launch of new iPhone, iPad
- Analyst predicts stellar iPad sales in next week's Apple earnings
- Nexus 7 holds up better than iPad in drop, water-dunk tests
- With iPad Mini, Apple would remain tablet king through '16, says IDC
- Apple demands ipad3.com domain
- Chrome for iOS snatches top spot on App Store
- iPad in the Enterprise: IT Must Stay Ahead of the Curve
- Skepticism mounts over Windows RT's enterprise role
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts