It's Now REAL - Tablets Replacing Desktop PCs, Everywhere, Especially
in the Corporate Arena
Many companies are catching tablet fever and have started looking
for ways to increase productivity or simplify workflows with tablets. Some companies like SAP are doing this with consumer tablets like the iPad, but others are opting for more rugged solutions. The iPad’s success is
benefiting enterprise-grade tablet makers such as TabletKiosk, MobileDemand, DAP Technologies and Xplore.
The iPad is the most popular tablet, with over 15 million sold last quarter and millions more expected to sell this
year when Apple launches the next-generation iPad. The iPad is popular both at work and at home, but it’s not the right
tool for every job. Rather than putting a damper on rugged Tablet PC sales, many of these companies reported record sales
in 2011, and predicting increased demand in 2012 thanks to renewed interest in the slate form factor and a variety of other
Tablets from Xplore,
TabletKiosk, MobileDemand and DAP Technologies
Enterprise Tablets go with Cloud Apps
Businesses and Employees Understand
of touch screens in consumer devices, and the ways in which consumers are using them at home, has made it easier for businesses
to envision ways in which tablets can be used at work and in the field.
TabletKiosk President & CEO, Martin Smekal shares the effect of the iPad on
his company with GottaBeMobile,
Sahara Slate PC
“The launch of the Apple iPad
has been one of the best things to happen to our industry in years. The single most important result is that it validated
the tablet marketplace. Apple does an exceptional job marketing to the masses, and the fallout of their ubiquitous campaigns
is that awareness of the form factor and the potential for a total mobile solution was raised.
We used to spend the first half of all our sales meetings
educating customers about the slate form factor, touch technology, digital inking – no more. People understand the technology
on a much higher level and are trying to figure out how best to leverage it to increase productivity and return on investment.”
While the IT managers and business leaders
now recognize tablets as a real tool, they are still learning about the capabilities of specific devices.
David Molesworth, General Manager at DAP Technologies explains
that there are still hurdles, “We find that some customers overestimate what a consumer tablet can do.” Matt Miller,
President of MobileDemand, shares a similar shift, telling GottaBeMobile that businesses are increasingly asking, “Why
can’t I just use an iPad?”
That’s a great question. Here are a few examples of how these tablets differ from consumer tablets like the
Many things separate these enterprise
tablets from the iPad, but several features standout — Ruggedness, Flexibility, Software and Accessories.
When users are out in the field, performing mission critical
work, or working in the pit of the Red Bull
Racing team, durability and ruggedness matters.
All of the individuals we spoke to from
these companies noted the ruggedness and the need for tablets to handle the real workforce. Xplore tablets can withstand seven
foot drops and are waterproof and DAP technologies points out that DAP tablets can be used with gloves, something that consumer
tablets can’t do (without special gloves).
As you can see in the video below, these tablets can take a beating. Matt Miller of MobileDemand puts the xTablet
T7000 through a harsh set of tests that would render an iPad, even one in a rugged case, unusable. I’ve even seen these
tablets used to drive a nail.
Another comment we heard often is that
these tablets allow users to do much more, including those tasks that consumer tablets aren’t as good at, or can’t
Martin Smekal of TabletKiosk
shared that the company saw increased sales to customers who want to use a tablet PC to control devices and machines remotely.
This can range from a locksmith machine or sound equipment to emergency room variables such as table position, lighting, and
tasks include scanning barcodes quickly, use RFID or interfacing with industry specific tools to handle mission critical applications,
where downtime is costly.
these tablets use Windows software, businesses don’t need to spend as much time training employees on how to do their
work. Sure, there is some tablet training, but the iPad has made employees more comfortable. With a Windows tablet PC they
can access the same tools they use on their notebook.
We also see the flexibility
to connect to multiple wireless carriers from a single device, unlike the iPad which operates on AT&T or on Verizon depending
which model you buy.
iPad may have thousands of accessories, but enterprise tablets have plenty of work specific duties, too......
It’s no secret
enterprises have begun to adopt
tablets with the same fervor
of consumers. Since the debut of Apple’s iPad in Jan. 2010, the integration of tablet devices into our lives and work
has progressed rapidly — so fast that it’s sometimes hard to put in perspective how quickly got here.
In overall world market
share for tablets, the iPad clobbers all others. The iPad accounted for nearly 80 percent of worldwide tablet sales during the past 12 months, but Android is slowly gaining ground, thanks to a wide variety
of devices and prices. On the higher end, there are devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9, and on the lower end there’s the upcoming Amazon Kindle Fire and already well-established Nook Color.
adoption is quite different from total adoption. A just-released survey from Good suggests the iPad and iPad 2 were responsible for 96 percent of tablet activations in the enterprise in the third
quarter of 2011. With just 4 percent of activations being Android-based, Apple has a clear lead with the enterprise crowd.
Business users have
different needs with their tablets, chief among them are strong and versatile applications that keep the mobile workforce
connected. The iPad has a clear lead in this area with more than 136,000 iPad-optimized apps while Google won’t reveal
how many apps are actually optimized for Honeycomb-based tablets. (Some estimates guess it is under 1,000 at present.) One
of the most promising enterprise applications we’ve seen recently is Polycom’s video-conferencing app that works for both iPad and Android tablets.
It’s unclear at this point if Android will be able to take
away much of the share the iPad has secured with enterprise users, especially in Bring-Your-Own-Device workplaces. But we’ll
be watching to see what happens in this exciting space and let you know the latest.