The pace at which Apple's products are moving into the enterprise is accelerating, if the iPad is any indication. For instance, while the iPhone took two years of in-house research and testing before it was allowed into the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, the iPad became part of that corporate family within a couple of weeks of its launch.
According to Bloomberg News, other major businesses such as SAP AG, Tellabs and Mercedes-Benz are similarly utilizing the iPad for a variety of tasks, such as taking orders in a showroom or demonstrating financial products at a conference.
40 Percent of iPhones
The news service quoted Megan Minich, a Wells Fargo senior vice president, as saying that the company has already placed its second order for iPads, following an initial shipment of 15.
The steady adoption of the popular tablet device is both surprising and not. It's surprising since the iPad has been sold largely as a media-consumption device optimized for video, audio, e-books and the web. Not surprising because a device that can be carried and used one-handedly, in all kinds of office settings, would seem to offer the portability and versatility that modern businesses need.
Since its launch in April, the iPad has sold more than three million units, and the expectation is that it will sell about two million more every month. AT&T estimates that 40 percent of iPhones are used for business. If applied to iPads, that percentage would mean about 1.2 million are in business use now.
In addition, while it's unlikely that an employee might have two smartphones, it's entirely likely that he or she could have a desktop or laptop computer as well as an iPad -- so the actual percentage of iPads being used inside of businesses or for business purposes is possibly even higher than for the iPhone.
'Mobile Collaboration Business Tablet'
This transformation of business computing is likely to continue, not only because of the iPad's growing popularity and an increasing number of business-related applications, but because of the variety of tablets currently on the market or soon coming out -- from ASUSTeK, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, LG and others.
Cisco, for instance, is apparently quite sold on the idea that tablets have a substantial market among business users. Late last month, the company announced plans for a "mobile collaboration business tablet" called Cius (pronounced "see-us").
The Android-based device is designed to provide virtual desktop integration with Cisco's collaboration and communications applications, and includes HD video streaming, multiparty conferencing, e-mail, messaging, web browsing, and applications for creating, editing and sharing content on a local network or through the cloud.
During the announcement, a Cisco executive said the Cius "can transform how health-care professionals advance patient care, how retailers deliver service experiences to consumers, or how universities deliver world-class education to their students."
Posted: 2010-07-07 @ 3:42pm PT
Barry, it's true that more and more businesses are adopting tablets. There are a plethora of uses other than just mobile entertainment. The business and utilities apps alone are getting highly sophisticated. I just wrote a story about using the iPad as the Ultimate business tool where I show how you can use it for daily business productivity.