Apple won’t do it, but it should add Flash support to iOS. Whether or not it will cause more security problems is debatable. And perhaps more importantly, the enterprise requires Flash in several sites it interacts with every day. It might not make Apple happy, but if the company wants to play nice with corporate users, Flash support is a must.
The iPad features some IT control so far, but it would be nice to see the iPad 2 feature even more. Not only would it be good for Apple to deliver the ability for IT to better control use permissions on the platform, but it should give up some control over its platform for IT users to tinker more with the OS to fit corporate needs. It likely won’t happen, but it would be nice to see.
One of the key aspects of the experience of using the iPad is that it features a slew of native applications made by Apple that are optimized for the platform. On those iPads sold to corporate customers, Apple should offer up some business-focused applications. Not only would it spur enterprise adoption, but it would likely make IT decision-makers warm to the idea of using apps on the device.
The corporate world is becoming more and more mobile. Realizing that, and considering the iPad is one of the larger tablets on the market right now, it would be a good idea if Apple makes the iPad 2 slimmer and lighter. However, the company shouldn’t reduce the size of its display — 9.7 inches is the sweet spot for tablet screens. If the iPad 2 can deliver the same visual quality, but offer more mobility, it would appeal even more to corporate customers.
One of the biggest issues with the current iPad is that it requires the help of a separate device, the MiFi 2200 Hotspot, in order to connect to Verizon’s 3G network. If Apple wants to make its tablet more appealing to corporate customers, the iPad 2 must feature the ability to connect to Verizon’s network from the device with no other products required. It would make many companies quite happy.
The future of wireless connectivity over mobile networks is undoubtedly 4G. Realizing that, and considering the importance of higher speed mobile data connections to the enterprise, Apple should consider including a 4G chip in the iPad 2. It would set the iPad 2 apart from the competition and likely make it more appealing to corporate users.
Part of the reason that some companies have yet to adopt the iPad in their operations is they’re holding off to see what RIM will offer with its own tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook. It makes sense. RIM has a long history of appealing to the enterprise, while Apple doesn’t. Apple must keep that in mind. And if it wants to achieve more enterprise adoption, it will need to find ways to overcome the PlayBook’s influence in the coming weeks.
There is absolutely no way that Apple would even consider putting a virtual keyboard into the iPad 2. But it would be nice if the company included its physical keyboard accessory with the device when it’s sold to corporate users. Productivity means everything in the enterprise. And typing on the iPad — a supposed substitute for a netbook — isn’t convenient. But the physical keyboard changes all that. By including it, Apple could give enterprise users another reason to pick up its tablet.
As mentioned, Apple has a responsibility to make its iPad 2 more appealing to corporate users by offering built-in applications that would appeal to those folks. But the company should also do more to lean on developers and ensure those companies are bringing their corporate apps to the tablet. If the iPad can deliver much of the same functionality, thanks to third-party software, that enterprise users enjoy elsewhere on traditional computers, it will make the device all the more appealing.
Where does Apple want to go in the corporate space? Is it content appealing to consumers and getting the corporate world to follow its lead or does it want to move into the enterprise and capitalize heavily? It’s something that Apple needs to figure out. And once it chooses that vision, it must stick with it — the company has no other choice.