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Hanging out to roll out the new iPad? Don't


Drew Turney

The pros and cons of a new iPad business rollout.

The new iPad's graphics are a plus for those in the creative industries.

The new iPad's graphics are a plus for those in the creative industries.

With the new iPad launched this week, Apple is sure to continue its stealthy assault on the business market, but companies wondering if it is the new answer to their mobility strategy need to think again.

The biggest draw for corporate users might ordinarily have been the much-talked about 4G capability of the new iPad (launched with no numerical suffix). As carriers launch 4G networks across Australia, the country will see the first truly data-friendly airwaves. For business-critical applications, 4G is set to offer the speeds users only experience under their own roof, which will make large file transfer or high bandwidth applications easy to use anywhere.

But there's one big catch. So far Telstra is the only Australian carrier with a 4G offering. And what you won't read in the large print is that it runs on a different frequency than US 4G networks, so the iPad will not work on our 4G networks unless either the carriers or Apple make changes, neither of which are likely this year. It is compatible with Telstra's 3G though.

Much is being made about the display technology. With four times as many pixels as the last iPad and with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536, every application will be much easier on the eyes. Text will be cleaner and sharper, pictures will have more detail and video can display at up to 1080p HD. The front-facing camera is also 5 megapixels, which puts it in a similar class as most compact digital handheld cameras.

For companies with a reliable corporate data network, a fleet of iPads between offices or locations could render most low-end videoconferencing systems obsolete. In the creative industries, the iPad can now compete directly with desktop PCs for the device of choice to review content.

All the extra display strength is powered by a faster, better processor, yet Apple claims the new iPad has the same battery life as the older model – enough for an average workday in most cases. The company has also said all older apps will automatically scale and display with no problems, a relief for those companies implementing their own internal apps.

Voice recognition technology has never been perfect but a good dictation feature is exciting for businesses. Like the feature on the iPhone 4s, it could be a huge time saver when browsing, writing emails, taking notes or using third party app functions on the new iPad. Just click the microphone button on the keyboard and speak rather than type.

If you're in the midst of an iPad 2 fleet rollout and don't want to consider any other provider, go ahead as planned – the only improvement the new iPad would offer is a minimal performance boost. Depending on your industry you would also benefit from the increased image clarity, but there isn't much more incentive than that for Australian buyers.

Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said today, "Apple has enjoyed a first-mover advantage; however, we expect competition to get more intense through 2012."

Windows 8 is coming and Google Android's Ice Cream Sandwich has 'bridged the smartphone and tablet divide', according to Ovum, so while the iPad still holds a convincing lead, holding off to put both Windows and Android through their paces according to your business needs is a good idea, particularly as they might play nicer with 4G infrastructure from Telstra and any other carriers who come online.

Of course, companies don't want their network integration and IT people to reinvent the wheel. According to Forrester Research, almost half of enterprises already support Macs and 30 per cent support the iPad. If yours is one, adopting Windows or Android would incur costs along with a learning curve.

The last compelling feature in the new iPad's favour, however, is the price. At $899 for the 4g/Wi-Fi/64GB model, it's $150 cheaper than its predecessor.

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27 comments so far

  • People are walking away from iPad in droves - the Asus ep121 is much better devices, miles ahead, while the Fujitsu p901 is easily the best tablet device on the market.

    iPads are toys which can not handle real applications, only Apps. Why pay all that money to only review content, when you can purchase a full functioning tablet with windows 8 running 3 ghtz i7 quad core processors and 8gb DDR3 ram ?

    The competitors devices, which you simply fail to mention, are at least, if not more powerful, than most peoples desktop computers, while the iPad is less powerful than the upcoming Samsung Galaxy sIII phone.

    iPads are at or near the very bottom of the tablet market for performance - the reality is that most consumers are swayed towards Apple through emotional marketing techniques and corporate indoctrination - people need to at least try and consider the alternatives and they will be truly shocked at how manipulated they are. Just take a look.

    Date and time
    March 09, 2012, 11:22AM
    • I agree, but on what planet can you buy a slate format tablet pc, with "windows 8 running 3 ghtz i7 quad core processors and 8gb DDR3 ram" ?

      I think the best slate format tablet pc at the moment is the Samsung 7. But, I'll wait for windows 8 to be released along with the next generation of devices.

      Date and time
      March 09, 2012, 12:24PM
    • I think you have missed the point as to why most people are buying ipads. Most people don't need the most powerful tablet out there. If all that you do is check email, surf the net, update your facebook etc. then you want to be able to do that on the platform the provides you with the most simple and rewarding way to do these things. At the moment that is Ipad. For people who require or want more performance or be able to customise everything yes there are better devices out there. BTW since no Windows 8 tabs are released yet I don't think that it is appropriate to compare it to a product that is already on the market. Also you make no mention of graphics performance and the new Ipads come with a much higher resolution than any other tablets out there. Having said all of that of course people should evaluate the alternatives but I think you'll find there are many like me who have, and still come to the conclusion that the ipad is right for them.

      Date and time
      March 09, 2012, 12:56PM
    • What statistics do you have to back up your claim that "People are walking away from iPad in droves"?
      I work in an office environment across all shared services in our company, including IT, sales, finance, etc and the only tablet I have ever seen in use amongst hundreds of fellow employees has been the iPad.
      This is also the case in the hundreds of meetings I attend each year. No one has ever brought out any other tablet besides the iPad.
      While my "evidence" is purely anecdotal, it's still based on hundreds of data points, whereas yours is purely an assertion.
      As for the iPad being at the bottom of the tablet market, they basically created or at the least re-created the market so that's highly implausible. Similarly implausible is your assertion that tens of millions of people around the world are so unintelligent, undiscriminating and gullible as to buy, and then fail to return, a product that does not live up to or exceed their expectations and requirements.
      It is far more accurate to say that Apple has successfully created an entire ecosystem of hardware, software and developers tools that enable iPad users and app developers to engage with a product that is intuitive and pleasurable to use and to develop for. That's the real secret of their success. When Android or Windows 8 can offer a similarly seamless environment, then they may be able to successfully compete. Specs won't do it.

      Date and time
      March 09, 2012, 1:10PM
    • Do not feed the troll....

      Date and time
      March 09, 2012, 4:15PM
    • I keep wondering why so many Apple haters congregate on this site.

      No doubt they also believe that carbon dioxide is causing sea levels to rise.

      Farmer Ted
      Rural NSW.
      Date and time
      March 11, 2012, 9:03AM
    • So what you're saying is that the Asus is superior because it has significantly lower screen resolution, slower processor, a camera with less than half the resolution, a lower version of bluetooth and less than half the battery life?

      Just because a marketing team calls something powerful, you believe them? Every real world test has the iPad2 at least twice as fast as any other tablet out there.

      I know geeks love specs but in terms of the end user it only matters in how well the software runs on and integrates with the hardware. You can have the highest spec'd hardware but if the OS isn't fast, the system will be slow.

      And what exactly is a fully functioning tablet? Windows 8 on something other than an Apple tablet? At this point in time it is in beta.

      These ideas of emotional marketing and corporate indocrination are complete rubbish. There are very few IT depts wanting (or willing) in Australia to take on Apple products because they believe they will cause far too many problems and they're too difficult to integrate.

      This in spite of the fact that up to 90% of fortune 500 companies in the States are trialling iPads (interestingly because of their security), the US airforce has just ordered 18,000 of them, and American Airlines are using them as replacements for manuals.

      Yes, everyone is leaving... in droves. Or you work for Google or MS.

      Date and time
      March 12, 2012, 12:00AM
    • LOL, where can you purchase "a full functioning tablet with windows 8 running 3 ghtz i7 quad core processors and 8gb DDR3 ram" ???


      HighlyDubious - Android Fanboy.
      Date and time
      March 12, 2012, 10:33AM
  • @Aristophenia "People are walking away from iPad in droves" ...they are???
    I guess I missed the news about Fujitsu shifting 15 million tablets last quarter!!
    I'm all for people having a preference in the type of portable device they like to interact with ...but people are voting with their wallets, and in user satisfaction surveys no tech company polls higher than Apple post purchase!

    Date and time
    March 09, 2012, 12:09PM
    • so all the people went and bought the latest/highest spec copycat tablet, then realising it's so hard to use, chucks it aside and walk straight into an Apple Store. ;)

      Comes out fully satisfied that it served their purpose.

      Date and time
      March 11, 2012, 8:57AM

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