Apple iPad, in the enterprise?
Apple’s announcement today of a new 802.11n connected mobile device, the iPad, is sparking the imagination of many. From application developers, to the media industry I am sure there are plenty of folks out there already drafting strategy plans about the different ways they can leverage what is expected to be a successful new platform.
Moments earlier, IDC announced that it expects Apple to “ship 4 million iPad units worldwide in 2010”. End even though by all accounts the iPad seems to be a consumer device I can’t help but wonder how many of these 4 million devices are going to enter the enterprise. And when they enter the enterprise how are they going to impact your wireless network?
Are higher education wireless networks going to be overwhelmed by bandwidth intensive Internet video downloads when iPad carrying students take a break from studying, or for that matter are studying by streaming lecture video on their new mobile device? (Read about Cisco VideoStream)
Will sales associates at leading retailers keep an iPad handy in order to provide high-value added services to their customers? Or will they use the device to improve the effectiveness of merchandise and assortment planning by seeing detailed merchandising maps on the 9.7 inch touch screen?
Will pharmaceutical sales reps pitch the paper brochures and laptops for more impactful demos and doctor testimonials on the bright LED screen?
Will doctors and nurses access patient medical records at the point of care?
Will service employees collect customer/citizen data for line busting applications in the public sector?
I am of-course not implying that these applications exist today, I am simply hypothesizing on what it could be. At $499 for the 16GB model, these enterprise applications may actually yield a quick ROI depending on your industry.
Let us know what you think about the iPad. What types of mobile applications do you envision your users, customers, patients, partners, vendors or employees will run on your 802.11n wireless network?