What will the iPad do to the enterprise?
As I was watching Apple’s iPad announcement, a serious Déjà vu from the iPhone premiere stroke me and thought to myself: “Oh boy, here we go again… first we will all say: WOW. Then most of us will criticize it all over while others will stand in line to get a glimpse of it. Eventually, we will all carry one in our pockets.”
OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating. After all, the iPad will not fit any pocket… a bag or a pouch would be more appropriate for that manner.
Still, I had to ask myself, what will the iPad do to the mobile world. Will it mark the beginning of another revolution? Or will it fail and soon be forgotten?
I guess it’s still early to answer that question, but if the iPad will manage to do half of the impact the iPhone made to the smartphones world, we will soon see a new species of mobile devices all around us. Everywhere.
Let’s take a typical business for example; Choosing between a PDA (or a smartphone) and a laptop (or tablet) was never an easy task. Each has some well known pros and cons.
Of course there are other alternatives like UMPC’s and Netbooks but they seem to be closer to a laptop in their characteristics than a smartphone.
The iPad, in this respect, represents a new species of handheld devices which were always here but didn’t get enough recognition: It’s much more portable than a laptop (or even a netbook) in the sense that you can carry it around, the battery lasts for hours, and you don’t need to place it on a steady surface to actually use it, and the combination of the OS and the touch screen turn activities to be simple, friendly and quick.
Comparing to smartphoens or PDAs, the iPad, (or should we call it – the mini-tablet device), brings a stronger processor, faster performance, bigger screen, bigger keyboard, better usability, and its’ followers will surely include a superb multi-tasking too.
So what are we looking at here? A device that can be carried around (almost) like a PDA, has the capabilities of (almost) a PC, and costs (almost) like a netbook?
Seems like a fantastic mobile device for many businesses out there that used to find the smartphones too limited and laptops too big and clumsy. Many of them selected a mobile strategy of 2 devices per employee or compromised on one. For many of those organizations, the iPad and its’ alike are the perfect fit.
Oh, and the best part? It’s already out there, even before the first iPad was sold!
The iPad, therefore, will probably not invent the wheel but it will make it more trendy and popular. It will bring content and apps closer to the tablets an netbooks world. At first it will just be the Apple junkies that will get one, then more people will learn to like it, Windows 7 based tablets will appear, organizations will consider it, and before we know it, we will all purchase a mini tablet or get one from our employers.
So it seems like things are going to be very interesting soon. For many organizations, the iPad is not at all an option (yet). But the impact it will create, may eventually change their future mobile strategy.
Think about it…