It's Business Time for Apple's iPad
Though there’s no dedicated salesforce selling it in the enterprise market, Apple’s iPad has gained significant traction there. Since its debut, more than 65 percent of the Fortune 100 have deployed or piloted the device. This despite Apple’s continued focus on the consumer market.
“We haven’t pushed it real hard in business, and it’s being grabbed out of our hands,” Steve Jobs said last year. “And 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.”
If Apple’s not pushing the iPad into the enterprise market, how is it getting there? Carried in by the rank and file–just as smartphones were. Employees are buying iPads, and other mobile devices as well, and enterprise is increasingly supporting them on the back end and sometimes even subsidizing them, or their use.
In other words, the consumer market has evolved into a de facto evangelist for Apple in enterprise, a lucky development for the company, which is uniquely positioned to benefit from it.
“This trend should mean that the key to corporate success over the long term is being strong in consumer devices that you use everyday,” says Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. “As a result, the purchase pattern is shifting toward laptops, tablets and smart phones being bought by consumers (all key areas of Apple’s strength), while direct sales of corporate products have shorter and smaller upgrade cycles. We call this trend the “Consumerization of IT,” which benefits companies with strong consumer appeal and customer service reputations….We believe Apple has a large lead in terms of driving this trend, while it presents challenges for traditional PC vendors, in our opinion. We believe the iPad’s success in the enterprise will help Apple make further inroads into the corporate market with other products eventually.”
Interesting, this vision of the iPad as Apple’s Trojan Horse for enterprise, particularly since it appears to be a natural evolution of the consumer market. And if it accelerates corporate adoption of the device as well as other Apple hardware over the long term–well then, it truly is magical and revolutionary.