Apple is Both Lucky and Good

Carl Weinschenk
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Five Considerations When Deploying iPad in Your Business

Factors to consider before deploying the iPad.

Telecommunications has shifted so fluidly over the past decade that it can be difficult to recognize a change that is even more radical than other things happening in the tumultuous landscape.

As difficult as the optics may be, however, it increasingly is clear that tablets represent a permanent change. It's not just that the devices-led, of course, by the iPad-are opening new vistas to consumers and enterprises through innovative hardware and software. It's that they are reaching maturity when the economy is turning around and the pent up demand is starting to be met. The toehold they get now will last, and it will be transformative.

There is an old saying that it is better to be lucky than good. It is better still to be both, and Apple is. While it is being followed in the marketplace by a broad array of tablets, there is no doubt that it has a sizeable lead. This head start-which was explored in an executive briefing with IDC's Susan Kevorkian that was posted last week-is significant. It is also happening at just the right time, at least from Apple's point of view.

iPads are making progress in the business sector which-like the iPhone before it-wasn't the primary market. Newsfactor reports that Apple's CFO told analysts that the devices are experiencing great success among enterprises. Newsfactor puts it this way:

Splurging on $500 iPads is a sign that the business cycle is starting to turn and that companies are starting to spend a record amount of cash they've accumulated.

Canalys says that iPad sales were one reason-along with Mac growth and sales in the Asia/Pacific region-that Apple climbed to third place in PC sales (after HP and Acer) in the fourth quarter of last year. The numbers are important, as is the fact that the analysts are calling for the industry to recognize the new reality by counting tablets-they refer to them as "pads"-in PC numbers. The tablets, the commentary says, are this year's hot items. Last year, netbooks had the spotlight.

Another sign of the success of the iPad in corporate settings is the fourth quarter report on activations by Good Technology, a company that manages corporate mobile devices. The company said that the iPad "revolutionized the enterprise mobility landscape." The firm said that iPad activations went from 0 percent in March 2010 to 22 percent by the end of the year. As if more evidence of the iPad's business ascendency is needed, ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley posts slides detailing Microsoft's reaction to the new device.

The studies and surveys-Good's and Canalys' are only the most recent-and Microsoft's reaction point to the general shift to mobility and the strength of the tablet. Right now, Apple sits atop that category.

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