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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?

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22 Comments.


  1. To me its just like a giant iphone, there is nothing special that stands out, to me its a low spec laptop without the keyboard hardware.

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  2. This will be a new device in the market and the possibilities are really vast. Probably it is similar to a Tablet PC, but much more usable (have you seen the horrible screen of a table PC? or the heavy weight? -not mention about the suddenly blue screen or the unaffordable price-). It could fit some of my needs, a sales guy with a lot of customer meetings, lot of meeting minutes to create, ppt’s to show, lot of travels, access info on the road, see videos in airports or planes… displacing my personal computer and my traditional notebook (I love to write, but the lack of back up makes me feel panic imaging to lose it) in some (most of the) cases. My concern: how to synch the different devices? how to access to all my info from any of these devices? (computer, phone, ipad). Of course the answer will be in the cloud services, right?

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  3. It’s not meant to be a giant iPhone, it’s directed towards a completelt different market, it’s meant to take on the Kindle and provide a portable reading and emailing system that’s not like a giant clunking laptop. I think most people are missing the point and the marketing niche of the iPad and unfortunately Apple don’t seem to be pointing it out!

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  4. Will iPad kills amazon Kindle? I wonder when those giant company launch a real breakthrough gadget. Not only follow others or just for make the same name with letter I”” for all apple product.”

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  5. I honestly don’t see the iPad being used an enterprise device. Apple’s walled garden”” doesn’t lend it self well to enterprise applications. Apple gives iPad/iPhone developers pretty limited freedom as far as what they can do and how apps are distributed.”

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  6. I don’t doubt that the iPad will be an enormous succes for Apple. I think about India etc. where all these people can’t afford a PC. They would buy an iPad!

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  7. How about some Clean Access (NAC) support?

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  8. I think sooner other similar devices will be lauched with better processing capacities and connection options than ipad, revealing a great market niche for these devices just like what happened with netbooks.

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  9. Actually, many enterprise applications, especially for datacollection / entry / sharing, exist as intranet web applications, and thus are perfectly suitable for iPad without needing any involvement with the app store. Thus it has great potential for many of the situations mentioned above, and those applications do indeed already exist.

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  10. I don’t see the hype with this product. I think it’s just a giant iPod touch with LESS features… I believe the new iPod’s even have cameras, something the iPad lacks. Perhaps with a full OSX OS it would have a lot more respect in my books.

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  11. I for one cant wait to get an iPad, i think it looks excellent and Apple need to be pushing it more. IM sure we will see lots of adverts in the next coming weeks.

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  12. You will either love it or hate it depending on what you use it for. If you like fast zippy web browsing, I think it’s great. If you want to use it for different apps for business you will want to kill yourself.

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  13. dharamog

    Today I saw the first public use of the Apple iPad in the enterprise. Take a look at how InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is using the device: http://springwise.com/weekly/2010-05-05.htm#ipadconcierge

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  14. Although it looks interesting, Microsoft’s Courier looks much better and would be ideal for the corporate market. Problem is they have shelved it for now.

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  15. Yeah I love the idea… of walking into a store (aka walmart) with my ipad (or really even iphone for that matter) LOL maybe a new app LOL… that you type in what product you want… and it gives you step by step directions LOL

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  16. I would like to know if anyone has developed an app for remote desk top. By being out of the office a lot I would love to be able to contact my desktop for email.

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  17. I think that the Ipad is wonderful, I am an engineer and in my profession we need to be able to get information quickly and travel light, the Ipad with the right applications would be a great help to any professional that is on the go. I hope the people that develop application will look at the business world for their app development instead of gaming. Ya Apple Ipad!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. Hi Mel, remote control/remote desktop is probably not your best bet for email, as the iPad does provide baked in Exchange support. You may find this URL helpful in configuring your iPad to do corporate email: http://blog.fosketts.net/2010/04/03/ipad-exchange-server-sync/

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  19. I blog on eBookReaderGuide.com and currently there is a lot of interest from our visitors for the iPad as a medium for receiving newspapers and magazines. The could be a start of a revolution in newsprint consumption.

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  20. Dimitris, I ran across a new use for the iPad this weekend at a mall. At the exit, a person was polling mall visitors (where did you shop, what did you buy, on a ten point scale…) and she was not only handing out $5 bills to people who stopped and answered the questions, but more interestingly she was using an iPad to do it. While things like online catalogs are pretty easy to imagine as a use case in retail, using an iPad to record survey results was not a use I had invisioned but is in fact a use case that makes perfect sense.

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  21. After using an ipad for almost a month I have to say that it has its benefits. The larger screen makes it so much easier than the iphone when I am surfing the web and blogging, but that is about the ONLY benefit that I have noticed. I have to say that I like the iphone better in terms of functionality.

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