back to article Barclays Bank buys 8,500 Apple iPads in one go

Barclays Bank has bought no less than 8,500 Apple slabs of fondling loveliness in one go, The Channel can reveal. The buy, made with dealer Insight UK, is believed to be one of the largest roll outs of the iPad or indeed any tablet in the UK finance sector, and signals the growing acceptance of the tab tech in corporate land …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want a tablet for home, for a bit of browsing then the cheaper Android tablets may appeal but if you are using it for work purposes you are going to want something easier / cheaper to manage (so an iPad may actually have a lower TCO), better built and yes staff do feel better given better tools and the iPad is widely perceived (regardless of individual opinions) to be a 'premium' product. So any extra purchase cost is insignificant.

    My guess is they looked at how easy to deploy, develop, manage and maintain and the TCO was significantly lower for iPad plus developing bespoke apps could be a very significant cost and iOS is less of a moving target. Think we will see a lot more tablets in business over the coming year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When my gas main was renewed the engineers who came to reconnect and do tests were all using iPads to record the test results. They didn't seem to be having any problems with them.

  2. Reality Dysfunction


    My guess is that they will use it in branch for those sit downs the mortgage advisor has with the customer. They won't be replacing a users primary PC as such just an addendum to make the customer more comfortable and engaged with the seller.

    Cheap at the price in that case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guesses..

      Makes a lot more sense than at a desk with a desktop / laptop with a mouse - more personal, easier to use etc.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Looks like Barclays are making another significant investment, like upgrading moving and building new branches all over the place, either that or it's getting the profits down so as to not appear too wealthy whilst not paying much tax.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Reality Dysfunction

    Don't think you've been in a modern Barclays branch have you, it's just a wide open space with some counters at one side, gone are the days of the desk.

    1. FunkyEric

      Re: @Reality Dysfunction

      Yeah, I went in one recently about a dormant account and it looks nothing like a bank, well in the traditional UKcentric sense of the word anyway. All felt a bit weird.

  5. localzuk

    What's that I hear?

    The sound of a thousand admins all crying out at once...

    1. I think so I am?

      Re: What's that I hear?

      And IT Security and Governance !

      (the one with I told you so for data loss on the back)

  6. DrXym Silver badge

    What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

    There are tablets costing half as much which would be as capable of doing what the bank needs. Playbooks for example. They might not be "sexy" but they work and they carry business friendly features like remote wipe, encryption and so on. And they cost 1/3 the price.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: capable of doing what the bank needs.

      Ego polishing, pure and simple.

      It's bloody Barclays.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

      I just realised I said 1/2 at the beginning and 1/3 at the end. May as well point out my own inconsistency before someone else does.

      1. electricmonk

        Re: What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

        Wow, tablet prices really are dropping fast...

      2. J P

        Dr Xym just realised...

        I thought it was a deliberate Friday thing; just not sure if you were heading into the 4 Yorkshiremen territory, or considering a Spanish Inquisition style development of increasingly smaller price fractions...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

        1/2, 1/3 but 1/4 as good - just a non starter for most corporates. Staff want to dump their blackberries like a dirty nappy - I hear 'you still have a Blackberry' followed by laughter.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

      ... and when they want to buy some more and find out they are not available. If I were spending a lot of cash developing applications I would want to ensure the OS and hardware were likely to be supported for a good many more years. The initial purchase cost of the tablet itself will be a small part of the total cost (and benefit) for Barclays.

      1. Wake up befor you sleep thru windows last crash...

        Re: What the staff wants and what the staff gets are two different things

        At this point, how long will you be able to continue on Windows sticking around? Seriously, who needs it? Nothing that worked on the original iPad in 2007 is yet to quit working on iOS 6 unless the app was pulled from the store. Any business can easily deploy and control iPads, installing all software and configuring them automatically. If you don't know this, you might want to look into it before they unplug the last ancient relic 'Wintel' PC that many of us gave up on, permanently, a decade or two ago.

        Most everything is web enabled now anyway, and it works anywhere outside of platform-locked, non-standard "Internet Explorer" browser. Microsoft's contributions to technology are overrated.

  7. Chris Miller

    There's one

    Insight salesman who will be having a very festive Xmas.

    1. insideman

      Re: There's one

      Nope. Crappy margin on Apple products and crappy commision structure at Insight. 'Salesman' ? I think you mean phone monkey....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget the staff

    I've been a Barclays account holder for over 20 years, where's my free iPad\?

  9. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    Follow the money, get iOS savvy.

    Im betting high demand for sys admins who embrace iOS along with good hourly rates. It's not a Windows only world anymore, knowledge of just one OS is is not enough.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Follow the money, get iOS savvy.

      I have been supporting Microsofts, Apples, the various forms of Linux including Android and other OS's that are weird and wonderful: yet you would consider my workplace a "Microsoft Shop."

      Just because someones main role is to support a Microsoft OS certainly does not mean they cannot easily transfer any knowledge to another OS. I would say most admins are well aware of how to use more than one OS. Only the Lazy ones do and they come from any eco-system.

  10. Bugs R Us

    For branch use

    I've been in a modern branch (Canary Wharf). The floor walkers use these to organize visits with the personal bankers. Why they felt the need to develop a custom iOS appp for that over a web application is beyond me. But hey, it's a bank, money to burn I guess.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP late again...

    The following pump from HP's site.

    “Businesses used to face a tough purchase decision: How to find a product that will delight employees and help them be more productive, while also making sure IT can secure and manage it," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Printing and Personal Systems, HP. "The HP ElitePad meets all those tests. It combines the great style and user experience consumers demand with the features IT requires.”

    It's not fair of me to bring it up now as this product won't be released, US side, until Jan 2013.

    Anywhoo looks like the iPad is increasingly making some very nice inroads into business, and kinda ticks all the boxes that was referred to above... ahem. ( OK, not sure about the sysadmin side, but ...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP late again...

      Compared to the options the iPad is better - easier to deploy, more secure, easier to learn, likely to be supported for longer. When you look at TCO of Apple kit and iPads in particular the tables are turned - training and support are big costs for companies and Apple stuff is easier and cheaper. We have a mixed Windows and Mac installation here and more and more people are shifting over to Macs. Even if they need Windows for legacy reasons Parallels is a doddle.

      1. David Ward 1

        Re: HP late again...

        you know what, I thik we get when your point, there wan't a need to post it 4 times (and counting) in the comments of the one article! or is one of the commandments to preach?

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Arctic fox

      RE:....Rich and powerful execs want apple kit......"

      Rich and powerful execs have of course been showing us the way for years, with their unerring judgement, their.......err, hang on a second. They have been regularly fucking up all over the place - in reality, hmm?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. insideman

          Re: RE:....Rich and powerful execs want apple kit......"

          not really. This deal would have been signed off months ago. A great many corporates would prefer win 8 to IOS and the current Win8 tablets are far more useful and user friendly than the ipads

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disaster for Microsoft

      It's not just 'rich and powerful execs' most IT departments prefer it as it's easier to support. I know people work on help desks and they reckon the number of calls and time spent is far higher (per user) with Windows kit than Apple. These days Macs work happily alongside Windows so it's no biggie having both.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    "staff had demanded"

    Went into a Barclays branch. I was served by the IT manager. He introduced me to his colleague, the IT manager. She pointed out the three IT managers that she works with, while an IT manager stopped by to dust the desk.

  14. insideman

    Ha Ha Ha

    What a shame that Insight's wonderful Dynamics roll out delayed the whole project. Had to draft in account managers to help configure the devices.....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could snowball - 8500 is a big thumbs up for Apple kit and Apple need a few to start with almost certainly many more to follow. Unfortunately Android just does not have the same traction and £100 difference in cost on a device when you get better support, security etc. is insignificant.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's £3.4m (assuming full list price and the base 16Gb wifi model) - nice order but shows how many Apple are actually shipping. Suspect this will be the first of many - need a nice order from the NHS to roll out to doctors, nurses etc.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8,500 staff all playing....

    Angry Birds at the same time whilst being paid to do it can't be wrong.

    From the horses mouth on a undisclosed site whilst chatting to a Personal Adviser whilst upgrading his desktop PC.

    he was a bit put out that he couldnt play movies or other streaming media on it ;))))

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I can confirm we are seeing significant interest in the take up of Apple iPads in large enterprise".

    Yes, because some VP fanboi thinks he knows best and without consulting IT, sinks a wad of company cash into a device that cannot handle 90% of the Windows based programs most corporations use. Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Apple devices in the Enterprise make as much sense as a manure spreader in a linen factory. In either case, you know the idiot who made the decision won't be the one cleaning up the crap.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Windows based programs

      If they're bought for a specific purpose that doesn't require Windows compatibility, why should that be a deciding factor? Many major business applications now have iOS apps, so what's the difference whether they access these applications with clients on PCs or iPads?

      Basically you're saying that because they use Windows now, they should always use Windows, because after all only Windows is compatible with Windows! If corporations thought the way you did, they'd have just announced an order for 8500 green screen terminals because the new system would have to be mainframe compatible.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Truly the fanbois are writing this article and laughing at the bad anti-Apple puns. Windows is a mind numbing racket, and is certainly not original, powerful, well managed, or even well written to begin with. All running on generic hardware.

    You've all seen this coming, but many were oblivious. Vista was reviled. Win 7 didn't really offer much over what Vista promised. Now, Windows 8 is just Microsoft with their pants down chasing after Apple's iPad, but what will happen is they will instead lose the COMPUTER market. It's too late to effectively challenge Apple and Google at this point, there is no way anyone will develop enough for Surface to make it a worthwhile challenger.

    How many apps on the RT store anyhow? Twelve?

  20. RonWheeler
    Thumb Down

    Who owns the itunes account - staff member or the company?

    What happens if staff decides to buy flashy app on company credit card?

    How do you stop staff member sitting on Facebook / Drawsomething all day? Or ramming Dropbox full of confidential company documents?

    Given these are the monkeys who sold endowment policies for years and generally will advise you based on the biggest backhander they receive, the device matches the owners well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who owns the itunes account - staff member or the company?

      iOS devices have restrictions built into them that you can turn on. It would be very easy for the admins to lock the iPads down once they have a generic build (if you can call it that) installed. Very simple, very quick. These restrictions include the ability to install & uninstall apps, make purchases & even surf the web.

  21. nsg1000

    We rolled out ipads at work. They are largely not used. Senior management have been allowed to take them home.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I go into my bank's local branch

    and some 17 year old chinless wonder - who is probably an "account manager" - is waving an iPad around I will switch banks immediately. This sort of news to a hacker is like a red rag to a bull. It only takes a few bent bastards to accidently "lose" one of two of these for a few thousand quid. Hey presto, suddenly you have professionals picking your virtual locks and using these devices as a way in. Don't tell me it's secure, nothing is secure. A portable device that can access a financial institutions internal networks (see other articles)? Bad f%^$ing idea.

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