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Dell's Joe Kremer  (Source: images.smh.com.au)
Exec hinted at Apple's iPad tablet as being more of a pretty toy rather than a functional device for businesses

Joe Kremer, Dell Australia managing director, attended a media and analyst briefing in Sydney yesterday where he hinted at Apple's iPad tablet as being more of a pretty toy rather than a functional device for businesses.

"People might be attracted to some of these shiny devices, but technology departments can't afford to support them," said Kremer. "If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side, it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don't think this race has been run yet."

Kremer is referring to the tablet race, of course. Apple's iPad, which launched in 2010, has dominated the tablet market since its arrival. Others have tried to compete, but either failed or fell way short of Apple's capabilities.

Currently, Apple's iPad accounts for about three quarters of all tablet sales. It's even the tablet of choice for businesses. Many have tried to put a dent in Apple's tablet sales, including Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad. The TouchPad was axed only six weeks after launch, and Research-In-Motion's PlayBook is barely a blimp on the tablet sales radar.


Samsung is the closest thing to an iPad competitor with its Galaxy Tab, but again, it's not nearly enough to budge the Cupertino giant. Amazon's Kindle Fire, which saw huge success in late 2011, can't even seem to touch the iPad. The Fire's sales have dropped 80 percent in the first three months of 2012.

However, Kremer and other PC executives see Windows 8 as a potential new beginning. Many businesses use desktop and notebook PCs, and with a Windows 8 tablet, all of these can be tied together for a more convenient work experience. Many have high hopes that Windows 8 will allow other tablet makers to take a hit at Apple's market share.

This may not be the case, though. There have been many complaints geared toward Microsoft's Metro UI in Windows 8, saying that the user interface is great for regular consumers, but not so much for business. A recent report noted that Microsoft is ripping out huge parts of legacy code that allowed third-party app developers to re-enable the Start Menu and Start Button, which was a staple in Microsoft's traditional Windows operating systems. Microsoft is also planning to disallow users from directly booting to the desktop. Instead, they'll be redirected to the Metro UI graphical environment.

With Microsoft's Metro UI geared more toward consumers who want entertainment more than anything else, Windows 8 may not be the life saver that Kremer and other PC companies hope for.

Source: Financial Review



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By WalksTheWalk on 6/6/2012 4:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
I replied to the wrong post, but here it is:

This is exactly how it works. It starts at the executive level where they want an iPad to take on the road. They use the iPad because they use an iPhone and an iPad at home and are comfortable with the technology. They push IT to support them they become part of the infrastructure.

I see this happen over and over. Sometimes it's Sales Departments that drives their usage but the end result is the same.


By Solandri on 6/6/2012 6:15:00 PM , Rating: 3
Thing is, for business use, the primary rationale for something tablet-sized is data entry - the clipboard. Data consumption is usually handled by laptops, desktops, projectors, and the ubiquitous printed handout. While I can see the last one being replaced by tablets, the first three will not (at least not until you can stick a keyboard and mouse/stylus onto a tablet and use it as your PC). The employees who just want to view stuff on a tablet are a minority.

The big break for tablets into business is going to be when one of them is cheap enough to replace clipboards for data entry. It doesn't have to be powerful, it doesn't have to be fancy, and it most definitely cannot be locked down. All it has to do is let employees enter data directly into the company's database while they're walking around, instead of writing it down so they can enter it later. Look to the tablet/scanner-like units developed by UPS and FedEx. Make something like that, but generic and inexpensive, and you're looking at hundreds of millions in sales each year.

("But the iPad can do that too!" you say. The thing is the iPad is only affordable for businesses in first world nations. With the world economy modernizing, the bulk of the business market and growth is going to be in developing nations like China and India. The iPad might work in the U.S., but it's horribly overpriced for businesses in those countries. Same thing as you're seeing with the iPhone, which represents the majority of smartphone sales in the U.S., but barely has 20% of the global smartphone market. It's priced too high.)


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