Anticipation for Apple’s iPad, the company’s entry into the nascent “tablet PC” market, has been building especially since it hits retail stores this April. While early adopters such as Apple fans, tech mavens, and fashionistas are widely expected to become the first customers for the device, it seems that business users are not that far behind. A recent business survey conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Corp. (ITIC) found that 42 percent of participants plan to purchase an iPad within the first six to nine months. Only 14 percent said “no,” leaving the remaining 44 percent as “possibly” or “undecided.” When asked how they’ll use the iPad, 64 percent of respondents said for business, 31 percent for personal use, and 86 percent for both.
The idea behind Tablet PCs is not new. The concept of carrying keyboard-less and mouse-free PCs using a stylus or touchscreen has been around since the early 90s. What the iPad has done, however, is bring back interest in the device – so much so that other manufacturers such as HP, Dell and Asus are introducing their own versions. More importantly, the iPad has increased interest in using tablets for business. Here are some reasons why:
- Versatility and ease of use. The nice thing about tablets is their size, which is smaller than laptops, but supposedly more intuitive and easier to use than netbooks. They can be used for data entry, as a communication device, remote data access device, or presentation tool – as well as an ebook reader or a device to access documents from cloud services such as Google Apps.
- Power and portability. Devices on the market today or coming soon also feature longer battery life, and are designed for mobility. For people in the field such as sales or support personnel, the device makes a viable alternative for all-day computing on the go.
- Apps designed for mobility. While it’s too early to tell, the iPad could usher in new types of applications specifically designed for the tablet’s form and mobility. As an example, Apple promised to release a new set of apps specifically designed for the iPad, such as Keynote and Numbers. Even IBM is getting into the game with an announcement that it will develop apps for the platform soon. Microsoft of course has its Windows for TabletPCs.
Are you interested in tablet devices? Will you use it for your business? Want advice? Contact us – we can provide insight and advice.