Why Now?

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Businesses are interested in Apple's iPad, whether as a laptop replacement for busy executives, a tablet for doctors accessing electronic medical records or a customer interaction tool for retailers. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said of iPad's business momentum: "it's being grabbed out of our hands."

"There are a growing number of people coming out of college that have used the Mac and are comfortable with it," Yu told Channel Insider. "They feel empowered to ask to continue to use it in the workplace. There have been a lot of technology advances in the product side to integrate Macs with Windows environments." Plus, Apple platforms require less management and are not as susceptible to viruses, he added.

Indeed, in Silicon Valley where Milestone is based platform choice is being used as a recruiting tool to entice employees to accept job offers, Yu said.

"I think that’s really fascinating," he said. They are offering the use of a Mac "to retain and recruit employees as opposed to the more regular HR focus on benefits and salaries."

The growing momentum of cloud computing and desktop virtualization is making it easier for companies to allow users to choose the platform they want rather than a standard company issue, said Yu.  Instead of creating applications that must run on both Mac and Windows platforms, developers can write once and deliver to each client via the cloud.

Use of the iPad in enterprises naturally follows the iPhone’s momentum there, said Yu, since the infrastructure is already in place to support the iPhone. iPad is frequently used by executives as a laptop replacement because it’s easier to carry around, it has instant on capabilities and it’s easy to use.

But vertical industries are also adapting the platform to serve their own particular use cases, such as medical practices for electronic medical records, and retailers are looking at the devices as an interactive tool at the customer interface level, said Yu. Industries have taken up the iPad and created new uses for the device.

Right now, the iPad’s momentum in business seems to have a life of its own.

"I talk to people everyday in all kinds of businesses that are using iPads, all the way from boards of directors that are shipping iPads around instead of board books, down to nurses and doctors in hospitals and other large and small businesses," Steve Jobs told the financial analysts.

"So the more time that passes, the more I am convinced that we've got a tiger by the tail here. And this is a new model of computing which we've already got tens of millions of people trained on with the iPhone. And that lends itself to lots of different aspects of life both personal, educational and business."


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com