For quite a while, Apple has concentrated on the home market and has done quite well, increasing its market share significantly, but it is much less of a presence in the business market segment. The Mac’s share of the corporate market has increased somewhat, but has barely reached 10%.
(I suspect the publicity surrounding iPods and iPhones attracted the attention of computer buyers who otherwise would not have considered Apple. Nevertheless, I can’t see Apple breaking the stranglehold that Windows NT networking has on corporate America any time soon.)
Nevertheless, the iPad seems to be entering the world of business, especially in Asia, from an unusual direction: Marketing and sales.
Reuters reports that retail shops, sales persons, and hotels are using them for sales presentations and providing information to customers, while at least one airline is planning to offer to rent them to passengers for in-flight entertainment. The iPhone, which has had trouble breaking RIM’s grip on the business market in the United States, is also attracting business users in Asia.
“We once considered showing it to customers on laptops but they are heavy. The iPad perfectly fits our demand,” said company spokeswoman Kazuka Nohara (of Japanese wedding service firm Novarese Inc). “We also found something unexpected. Grooms are now more proactive in selecting a wedding dress.”
InterContinental Hotels is equipping concierges at centres including Hong Kong, London and New York with iPads to provide guests recommendations of restaurants, performances and local destination videos.
The full article lists other examples.
I saw my first two iPads in the wild over the past week, one at my Linux/Unix Users Group meeting and one at a political gathering on the Virginia Beach boardwalk. I wouldn’t want one; I have no use for one and Apple’s walled orchard gives me the willies. I must admit, though, they look really sweet.
The San Jose Mercury-News reports that Cisco is planning apps to make it easier to use iPhones and iPads for business:
Cisco Systems today announced new technology that helps mobile workers use iPhone and iPad apps stay in touch with co-workers and gain access to the data they need to do their jobs.
The Cisco Quad apps will be available in the fall. The San Jose network equipment giant described Cisco Quad as “an immersive platform for enterprise collaboration that integrates voice, video and social networking into one work space.”