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back to article Apple's Jobs stand-in touts iPad's enterprise reach

The iPad is now being used or evaluated in "80 per cent of the largest companies", according to recently elevated day-to-day Apple chieftain Tim Cook. "I think the most forward-looking CIOs are coming to the realization that the productivity of the person, the creativity of the employee, is materially more important than …

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Silver badge
WTF?

Scaled-up smartphone

"Basically you end up with kind of a scaled-up smartphone – which is a bizarre product, in our view."

Something the iPad is not, clearly... Right?

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Troll

Re: "Something the iPad is not, clearly... Right?"

Nope. It's a scaled up iPod Touch... which is twice as bizarre.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly not

In hardware terms, yes, the iPad is a scaled up iPhone. Bigger battery and screen, but basically the same concept. But the thing that makes a different class of device is *software*. Go into any Apple store, and try the iPhone and iPad side by side. Yes, you'll find the same underlying UI principles. But the software has been completely reshaped for use in tablet form. For example, Apple has obviously invested a great deal to reinvent iWork for use on tablets (rather than simply porting iWork from the Mac), yet makes no attempt to put it on the iPhone. Likewise with many other apps on the iPad: they aren't merely scaled-up iPhone software - they have been redesigned for a different way of working.

This is not true for other tablets (yet). MS still seems to think Windows is the answer to everything (which is why they've been banging on the tablet drum for a decade with little to show for it). And Android tablets are (predominantly) using scaled-up phone software. Yes, this will change over time. But right now, Apple is the only one who has invested the time and effort it takes to make this class of device really stand out.

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"being evaluated"

"being evaluated" is a code-phrase meaning "the boss covets the shiny". It doesn't mean it's going to be used seriously, it just means someone wanted to play with a new toy while the company picked up the bill.

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BI

I've seen numerous business intelligence tools be reworked for iPad. Some of the big charting companies have iPad/iPhone compatibility.

It is becoming pretty easy to build dashboards and reporting tools for it now.

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Silver badge

Correct

Furthermore 'large enterprises' tend to have at least one of everything - wake me up when the first order for 10,000 units comes in.

Apple's entire product line screams: "this is a consumer product, we're not interested in the enterprise market" - a strategy that has worked incredibly well for them. If they are seriously interested in such large orders, they will need to provide tools for pre-formatting and delivering new products to a fleet of many thousands of iPads (and it had better not involve the use of iTunes).

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FAIL

@ "being evaluated"

That's certainly what it means around here. We knew something was up when the Boss had a massive interest in us installing wi-fi all over the office, something which we don't really need.

Then it dropped. "Can you get me one of those i-Pad thingys? Oh and a few for the execs too."

About 3 days after we'd set them up and given them to "those who need them", the inevitable conversation happened:

Boss: This is great but there is one problem

IT: What's that?

Boss: You didn't put office on it for me

IT: It's got QuickOffice, that can show you all the documents you need.

Boss: It's not the same, I need office

IT: We can't put Office on that, it doesn't support it

Boss: Not even Excel?

IT: I'm afraid not

Boss: Why?

And so on, and so on. I'm fairly sure that by the end of March it'll be gathering dust somewhere.

Anon, for obvious reasons.

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and also

You can't access the network drive from your iPad, unless you know of an App I don't know about, and the boss isn't going to want to sync back and forth via iTunes.

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@AC

Anon because you didn't think to give him Numbers and a Bluetooth keyboard, so he could not just view but also edit and otherwise work with Excel spreadsheets?

Then the evaluation could have proceeded to "you forgot to give me a mouse".

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Can't see much point for them yet

Corporates tend to run very peculiar internal networks. They might require every wifi device to use VPN. Proxies for web access. Various ports and firewalls shut off. Centralized administration for patching & deployment. They might have esoteric intranet apps which people must run. They probably use MS Office for documents. They have expensive service & support contracts with hardware suppliers. They will probably have MS Exchange or (shudder) Lotus Notes for email. They might already run proxies for Blackberry devices. They have contracts with mobile providers.

I think most corporate admins would be happy to shut tablets completely out and forget about them entirely. But if they did introduce them I feel that Blackberry's Playbook probably stands a much better chance of adoption than either the iPad or Android. Most corps are probably already configured for it and are paying for suport. The Blackberry would also be business oriented, easier to administer and lock down which are other advantages.

If not the Blackberry then they might wait for Microsoft to get their act together. Alternatively they might consider Android due to the plethora of devices and its more flexible configuration & deployment options.

I really think that iPad would be way down the list of viable devices, it's expensive, it's not serviceable, it has major restrictions on how it may be configured or apps are installed. But as some have said, it's "teh shiny" and if the CEO wants it, then common sense might be overruled.

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Anonymous Coward

@jonathanb

"and the boss isn't going to want to sync back and forth via iTunes."

And this is a problem. We have a couple here (including one for our department when I pointed out we couldn't help them with problems otherwise) but they don't work as they expected (which we told them). Namely, the Apple way to get files on/off is to sync via iTunes. And as such it can only be paired with one user account on one computer to do so (OK, one for pictures, one for apps, one for music). Boss cannot just give it to one of the underlings to put files on for them which is what they assumed. OK, there are workarounds such as Dropbox, but that's not appropriate for transferring company internal documents via an external website.

We have one department who did listen and decide that as it probably wouldn't work with the IE-only java-based central Oracle system, and they couldn't just get random office-drones to export reports from IE to PDF and put those on without a lot of headaches, they would skip it and just stick to looking at the reports on the laptops they already had for that purpose.

It's a great gadget and good at what it does (being an interactive coffee-table internet and email device). It's great as a tablet for reading technical manuals on. And there are some nice apps that make it useful for a lot of other purposes. But it isn't an enterprise-ready device or a PC replacement. I'm not saying any other device does it better either.

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its simpler than that

802.11x combines with NAC, and you can MAC address validate devices onto the network. Since iPads can't self-install except through the App store (or a corporate server) software and patch management is a small issue, as is virus security. They can be enabled for full encryption, and both tracked and remote wiped through Exchange (without 3rd party tools added on). Apple has enterprise contracts for iPad through AT&T and Verizon, and most firms don;t use just 1 phone vendor so that's a non-issue. Another important note is that to access email securely, under DoD STIG and many other audit compliance, requires 3rd party servers and additional remote management software costing about $60/device, but iOS 4 meets these out of the box if you run Exchange 2007 or higher....

Cloud access handles file access issues for non-secured data (drop box and other options), and there are file sharing apps that can access file servers once you're on the local network (assuming DNS is set up right you you know IPs of servers). They'll probably just move important files via e-mail anyway, since it's really about always-on email, running presentations, dashboards, internal apps, intranet access, etc, but without needing a laptop to carry around the office. They're GREAT for lower management monitoring a call center, or a sales guy looking up a customer account, HR people, anyone doing a quick presentation in a conference room, anyone talking over a spreadsheet/document, and more.

Many firms are also coding iOS apps for iPads and phones to access internal systems (since its damned easy). the hardware may not be customizable, but it's commodity, and apple stores are around the corner from any major business location. They're easy to back up and resync to a "standby" iPad too in a pinch, meaning a hardware failure doesn't take the employee out of the loop for more than the time to walk another pad to their desk and sync it, and even the iTunes backups can be centrally stored for added protection. $600 is not expensive for a corp user, even a $600 desktop setup is a $2,000 annual cost, once management and maintenance and software plays in.

Finally, move the GUI off the web server and onto the device, and access speeds improve. A lot of java runs behind scenes on servers to make a web site display everything right in the widgets, but move those to the pad, and save a few servers. its also much easier to build a dynamic app on a platform then inside a web browser. Can it work for everything? hell naw, but it does work in a lot of cases.

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Tablet vs PC

"I think most corporate admins would be happy to shut tablets completely out and forget about them entirely."

Many corporate admins felt the same way about the introduction of desktop PCs.

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Grenade

Making his mark already...

Is that the sound of Apple's share price falling I hear?

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WTF?

"kind of a scaled-up smartphone – which is a bizarre produc, in our view."

Obviously their view is not shared by many others. Older users tend to need eyeglasses and/or larger type - which is not too easy if the screen is as small as Apple's smartphone.

Equally, unless you are wearing a trench coat, the Apple tablet is too large to fit in a pocket and is a bit heavy in the hand.

The mid-size tablet is the best of both worlds: a larger screen for those who need it; small enough to fit a suit breast pocket and even hand carry for a period of time. Using either a wired headset or a Bluetooth connected device, voice communications can be conveniently achieved. The larger case permits a better speaker and bigger batteries, as well as providing more real estate for external connections.

My company has just complete a Test of Concept where service/production manuals for complex numerically controlled industrial machines. The manuals were made available on three sizes of screens - smartphone, 7 inch and 10 inch. There were sufficient pad/tablets to let the test subjects all choose identical units. One condition was they were to use each size at least twice.

The most popular size proved to be the 7 inch screen based upon usage.

As a private project I used 7 inch screens in my home to provide, primarily, dictionary services - my wife's mother tongue is way different to mine - and were affixed to a wall in the kitchen and portable elsewhere.

The kitchen unit was also used to access recipes from the InterNet and the others for miscellaneous browsing including newspaper sites.

It is my experience that a 7 inch screen is very satisfactory for most uses, commercial or otherwise and doesn't support Cooks proclamation, which is somewhat bizarre in itself. Now we will have to wait and see what the market says.

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Thumb Up

Which idiot down voted you ?

I thought your response was well thought out.

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Gold badge

Sigh

"Equally, unless you are wearing a trench coat, the Apple tablet is too large to fit in a pocket and is a bit heavy in the hand."

It's not designed to be carried around like a phone. You can't stick a lever arch file in your pocket either, nor an A4 pad. People seem to be able to carry stuff like that around for their job, tip: use a bag or backpack!

7 inch tablet is the the best of both worlds? I don't see it. The screen is about 45% as big as iPad. Also the screen resolution is the same as the Android phones so they truly are scaled up smartphones for that reason.

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7

80% evaluating...

...is not 80% buying then. Good :-)

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Joke

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I find my wife finds 7inches most satisfatory too.

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JaitcH

Funny that, my made up company did made up research on three different sized screens and my imaginary results fitted my preconceptions as to what size screen was best as well...

Weird huh

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Pint

@Giles Jones

Really? The screen resolution on my HTC Desire HD is 800x480, whereas on my Galaxy Tab it is 1024x600. Yes, the iPhone4 is close to that resolution, but then again it's also close to the 1024x768 of the iPad.

The extra screen size of the Tab (around 2.5x the size of my Desire HD), combined with the extra resolution makes a big, big difference, in terms of actual usability. For my needs, the 7" form factor is a great compromise - it sits between my phone and my laptop(s), and outside of actual work, gets used more than both of these devices combined.

The iPad, great though it is, is too large IMO - it's similar in size to my 11.6" Macbook Air, which is more capable device.

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Jobs Horns

Re: Which idiot down voted you ?

My money is on level-7 operating fanboi Giles Jones.

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@AC

JaitcH always funds a way to say something negative about an Apple story. I doubt the downvote is to do with just this one comment. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's reasoned and appears to make no particular effort to be inflammatory, so I can't see a problem with it either.

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cant see enterprise coughing up for ios devices....

...for the minions. Most big companies give the plebs really quite cheap phones. You need voice and email, - that'll be a few thousand blackberries at tuppence each, locked down for security reasons of course.

No point having your staff running around with iPhone playing angry birds all day "being creative". Only the boss "needs" an iPhone.....

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on costs

well, since iOS and exchange 2007 alone meet most of the security requirements for enterprises, without additional 3rd party servers added to the mix and handset apps that cost $60 each, iOS can in fact cost less than BB or WM 6.5.

For minions, no, but for anyone who would otherwise be expected to have on-the-go e-mail access, possibly. Further, they might even be able to get by with a desktop in place of a laptop, even to access some company systems/dashboards/etc. The cost difference between issuing both a desktop and laptop (and securing both) and an iPad or iPhone and a commodity machine might be a wash.

Opening the door to easy to code platform apps and cheap to acquire SDKs (and a wealth of iOS coders easy to find), is bonus value. Wireless security is easy to handle with NAC (VPN not needed, but it can in fact VPN).

If a user does a lot of e-mail, a phone isn;t going to cut it, but an iPad can, and without having to support remote systems, worry about viruses, need 3rd party servers, or risk HDDs carrying around lots of company data, let alone all the software licensing PCs require. Many of my users could get by with an iPad instead of a notebook to take home, and worst case VPN in, and launch VNC to connect to their desktop, and whip out a BT keyboard to get some work done. Ideal, no, but for those who rarely do it (the IT guy caught off guard, the sales guy headed to a presentation, etc) yea, easy.

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Bronze badge
Big Brother

Request for information

My organisation absolutely requires full-disk encryption for all portable IT. Can this be installed on an iPad?

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foot shoot

"I think the most forward-looking CIOs are coming to the realization that the productivity of the person, the creativity of the employee, is materially more important than everyone using the same thing,"

couldn't have put it better myself. Some people like a droid, some a laptop, some a large phone etc etc and ios does't work on them.

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WTF?

What the...

"Basically you end up with kind of a scaled-up smartphone – which is a bizarre product, in our view."

Here's someone who has been basking in the RDF for far too long.

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FAIL

Peanut Gallery

Absolutely pathetic. the usual suspects whining their same old tired and asinine rhetoric, your bitterness is astounding!

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Anonymous Coward

No stupid title.

Apple decided that the market should be divided into iphones and ipads. They don't want one product that can do the job of both. they want everyone to buy both.

I do wonder how Apple will do what with the whole church of Jobs thing.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

BS

Hmm, I think frymaster is right.

When the iPhone came out I saw a lot of "business types" using them in my daily commute to and from work. I've seen 1 man using an iPad and he was only reading an ebook, not doing work. In fact he had his laptop with him (though he wasn't using it at the time).

What I have seen in use by the "business types" are a lot more new netbooks.

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Silver badge

I don't know I would a 7" tablet

I think if someone asked me if I wanted a 10" tablet, or a 7" tablet that in general I would prefer the larger tablet. But claiming that people always in every circumstances must favour a bigger tablet is just stupid.

A 7" tablet might be better for people who use the thing on the plane / train / bus. It might be better if they want something mostly for playing vids. It might be a better size for slinging into a backpack / schoolbag. It might be better if people don't want to pay more money for a larger screen. Yes the screen might be smaller, more fiddly but the size might be the advantage.

So while my personal preference might be something bigger I can imagine times smaller would be more suitable.

The biggest issue I have with android tablets at the minute is honeycomb isn't here and that's really needed to reunify a somewhat fragmented market. Some tablets aren't certified so they lack Google apps, others are certified but packed with superfluous features. Once honeycomb turns up it should settle things down and there will be plenty of models to suit all tastes and at all price points too.

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Honeycomb is one issue for me

The other is that, with a few exceptions, the majority of companies seem to be throwing all their design effort into their 10" offerings, with the specs of their 7" alternatives looking really pretty shabby in comparison. I have a certain amount of money I'd be happy to spend on a tablet, in return for which I expect said tablet to meet or exceed a certain hardware spec. So far pretty much every 7" tablet I've seen has either had a hardware butchering to drag its price into the bargain bucket category, or has been so overloaded with goodies that it would blow my budget right out of the water.

Offer me a 7" tablet with a decent quality display, capacitive touchscreen, and the same processor, memory and peripheral config as the 10" version, for roughly the same price, and I'll show an interest.

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Jobs Horns

App Store T&C's

We've a fair few being used in this large org. The majority purchased by staff from their own funds (in the way people bought their own Filofaxs and PDAs). If you've got one and it's otherwise unused during the day why not bring it to work?

However, as far as i can work out the app store T&Cs prohibit any 'commercial' use (term not defined) which most lawyers would be conservative enough to use as grounds for saying no. It's also very difficult to deploy 'in company' apps without jailbreaking - you don't really want your company IP on the app store for everyone to use.

Theres definitely a corporate market but i''m not sure Apple has worked out how to deal with it yet.

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Donut

You clearly have not done one iota of research about this. Googling for "deploy iOS app" found:

http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#featuredarticles/FA_Wireless_Enterprise_App_Distribution/Introduction/Introduction.html

Apps exclusively for company employees are not distributed via the AppStore.

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Anonymous Coward

title

Thanks - that's interesting. I was told by someone who really should have known that their pilot had used a really clunky workaround using a developer's test access to the app store. (precis'd, badly remembered, but right general idea).

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Silver badge

7" works.

Nicely legible on this Commtiva N700 fondle-toy anyway, and virtual keyboard buttons that are big enough to tap or swipe (swype?) over. I wouldn't mind a bluetooth keyboard for typing anything longer than this though.

Camera, voicephone, wifi, 3g, gps, capacitive screen, froyo, and instant sharing with youtube/picasa/etc. Fun little twitterbox I suppose, and big/bright/responsive enough that a crm app for it should fit nicely on the screen. Handy as a portable wifi hotspot too, and you can connect a few computers through it easily enough. Supports remote wipe, and it has something no iToy has sported yet: A real live micro-SD socket. You get a 4GB card with it too, and all for £300 quid. Not too bad.

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Coat

Your username and/or password are incorrect. Forgotten password?

"You can wind up literally running your whole business off of an iPad or and iPhone."

Except for being able to make phone calls or run the business how YOU want to.

He must have meant, "You can get wound up trying to run your whole business off an expensive brick, that you must teach your staff to hold properly."

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um

You don't think ShoreTel, Cisco, etc are working on ViOP integration apps for iOS? Oh wait: http://www.ifreeware.net/download-shoretel-communicator.html they're done already...

Communicator already back ends into numerous VRU technologies, and you could run a whole call center UI off the iPad without needing web servers, and pass customer data by contact ID into the app UI in real time, manage call queues, and more. This is BIG TIME enterprise stuff. I've deployed call centers that could replace every desktop/laptop with an iPad after just a few months of app development, and the user experience would likely be superior vs an HTML limited dashboard. Since the iPad can VPN as well, remote users no longer need company managed remote PCs, home VPN concentrators, or all the support issues and costs associated with them.

That "expensive brick" plus a keyboard dock costs less than a single ultra-cheap corporate desktop with an Outlook Cal, let alone the ongoing maintenance, plus the $400 IP handset it eliminates, and lets tat user live anywhere in the world and be connected to the corporate system without office space.

...and can we give up on the "hold it right" BS already. I thought that was completely put to bed by field tests from Anadtech and others that proved even holding it "wrong" it still got better signal than the competition, regardless of how many bars were displayed on screen. Droppoff, yes, but still at better signal reception overall = pointless to argue over.

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Troll

"You can wind up literally running your whole business off of an iPad or and iPhone."

My employer's business is a web-based application that handles typically c.2,000 concurrent users at any one time and has demonstrated the ability to scale that up to 4,000 concurrent users at peaks. So, apparently, we can dispense with our server farm and replace it with an iPad?

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Think he meant desktops

More over that you either didn't get it, or are being sarcastic, we're talking replacing desktops or terminals with iPads, not servers.

go further though, and take the rendering load off that front-end server and put it in an app, and give your devs the flexibility to break outside the UI constraints of HTML, without needing security risky flash or making loads even worse with java, and you can probably scale to 6K concurrent connections on that front end, or eliminate a lot of CPU oomph in the app tier properly formatting output for the widgets. Think of the iPad itself being the device in the DMZ tier, pre-authenticated by NAC, or datapower appliances, and making the direct content calls to app engines tat talk to the database. You can entirely eliminate the web tier servers from the equation, moving that load to simple to manage and deploy apps and an authentication mechanism (like DataPower).

useful for all applications? no, heeeeell no. But, there are clear opportunities to put a pad in the hands of an employee who would have no need to have a desktop PC at all. I could see an entire call center run from iPads using a custom integration to a local VoIP system (Shoretel, cisco, etc) no more need for a handset at all, just a bluetooth or wired headset, and a local app handling the customer interaction, handoff from VRUs, queue management, etc, and still giving them e-mail etc. VPN back to the office from the iPad, and all those users could be remote, without needing to have company issued, managed, or maintained PCs at all. This is just one example.

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Stop

as useful as a chocolate teapot for business

ah yes the fantastic Ipad that is perfect for viewing the interweb, except for the thousands of websites that use flash. This incredible productive device that needs dozens of different apps you need to find so you can have mediocre workarounds for basic tasks you can do on any laptop or netbook as standard. Attach a file to an email on the ipad? Why would business need that? This is a consumer toy that is fantastic for media consumption but to do anything with it you end up using so many jerry-rigged processes to get it to work through dozens of different apps, it's like trying to build a swiss army knife by taping, tying and welding the contents of your cutlery draw together. Hardly very productive.

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Jobs Halo

iOS devices are useful absolutely

"Only the boss "needs" an iPhone....."

I work in a travel agent call centre as a telephone consultant, phone staff are denied internet, so my iPhone has been invaluable for finding information for customers that requires a Google or two.

Yes, my employer is about as backwards as you can get.

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Anonymous Coward

You're not thinking outside the box.

For quite a few people even in a secure corporate world;

A 3G iPad with a stand (or Wifi if you want a bit more reliability)

A small apple bluetooth keyboard

A VPN profile and an RSA token

A copy of Wyse Pocketcloud

A data centre that has a VMWare VDI Machine or Terminal Server.

Is a perfectly good road warrior kit, and works well, and is cheaper/lighter than a laptop.

Don't forget - an iOS device is actually a more secure device (at the moment) than a Blackberry or a Laptop, both of which can be used as a backdoor. Whilst Apple have control over the app store, it's a much more secure device.

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Anonymous Coward

The truth

Let’s all just admit it. The iPad or netbook or laptop et all basically do the same thing, in a roundabout kinda way, (some need more roundabouts than others)

Apple products are favoured by those who need a boost to their status. They see their peers eyeing their shiny new kit and believe that this makes them "better".

Remember, these people are psychologically and mentally frail, believing that a piece of equipment gives them this boost to status. They are plenty of these people out there, using certain products because they believe the marketing hype.

“Normal” people see straight through the bullshit, and evaluate before jumping in. (Unlike said CIO's)

Sad, but true. After all, we are only human.

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