As I followed last week’s big Apple announcement in the press room at CeBIT, the enormous technology trade fair that takes place each March in Hanover, Germany, I wasn’t particularly impressed one way or the other. It’s hard to get excited reading live blogs, and not seeing the presentation live.
Oh sure I ordered one the next morning, but like the iPad 1, this one isn’t for me — not really. It’s a present for my wife whose birthday dove-tailed nicely with this announcement. But as I sit and wait for the iPad 3 to arrive, I’ve been thinking about it and the impact it might have in the enterprise.
And it’s clear that iPad has had a huge impact on the enterprise. In fact, it’s changed everything. It ushered in the Bring Your Own Device revolution. It had a huge influence on the consumerization of IT and it has been a model for every product that’s come along since. When you see devices like scanners with touch interfaces, you know what I mean.
Tablets in general, and especially the iPad are great sales devices. You can hold it in one hand and unlike a laptop it stays out of the way, acting as a prop to deliver key points smoothly and almost invisibly.
And as my colleague Wayne Rash points out on FierceMobileIT (as you’ll read we followed the announcement together in the CeBIT press room), the new iPad has the potential to take the iPad even deeper into the enterprise. Rash wrote that the Retina display could provide a way to view highly detailed images such as x-rays or engineering drawings.
But even without that added usage scenario, the iPad has been making firm inroads in the enterprise. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Litera of 303 mobile users found that 20.7 percent of them used an iPad at work (probably a lower a number than I would have thought), but when asked about their ipad usage over the next 12 months the number increased to 28 percent — and this survey was conducted before the new iPad announcement last week.
Perhaps even more important than the upgrade though, is the announcement that Apple will continue to sell iPad 2 starting at $399. This means with the iPad actually becoming more affordable, it’s more likely that more information professionals will buy one and use it for work purposes moving forward.
There has been some discussion about the impact of the Kindle Fire on iPad and having tried one this week, I can tell you that Apple has nothing to fear. The only thing the Fire has going for it is the price, but the implementation is nowhere near as elegant as what Apple is doing on the iPad. It’s truly a case of getting what you pay for, something I always suspected but learned first-hand after trying one.
So as I wait for that iPad 3 to arrive by courier tomorrow, I think about the impact it will have on business and IT and I believe it’s going to continue to make its way into business in different ways, perhaps in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.
As we have found, what we once thought of as consumer devices are going to increasingly have a business application as well — and as an IT pro, you best be ready for that.
Photo courtesy of Apple.