Barclays: iPad Still Winning Over Hearts in the Enterprise
It’s no secret the enterprise loves the iPad. The VAR Guy has seen enough survey results proving that to wallpaper his office. And now comes further proof from Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who provided some tantalizing commentary to Barrons.com (part of the Wall Street Journal network) about iPad adoption in the enterprise. But The VAR Guy isn’t as bullish on sustained corporate adoption of the iPad. Here’s why:
Reitzes’ observations are simple and to the point: The iPad is “running far ahead of its tablet competition and it’s [Apple’s] game to lose.” Opportunity does exist for other tablets, including Google’s Android and for Research in Motion, and although Apple hasn’t set up an enterprise sales force, it is “listening to enterprise customers,” he said.
Reality check: The VAR Guy isn’t surprised that Apple has been listening to big enterprise customers, but our resident blogger recently got an earful of complaints from some Apple resellers.
Reitzes referenced a conference call he had with research firm Forrester, in which Forrester noted users have a habit of “buying devices and bringing them into work.” Reitzes believes — and The VAR Guy agrees — Apple is the “winner in the consumerization of IT.”
But Apple was the first real contender in the tablet race. And with a price that could fly under the corporate IT radar relatively undetected, it was somewhat easy for the iPad to infiltrate the enterprise. Had Apple been second or third to the table — or priced higher — the story may have been completely different. And it may be six months from now, when the iPad sees some real competition.
Reitzes also noted that tablet consumption has delayed laptop upgrades, but he thinks laptops and tablets will coexist peacefully. The VAR Guy also agrees with that notion — tablets are fun, but they’re no match for the fast-paced blogging our resident blogger is so well-known for.
The VAR Guy has also noted some readers see Apple’s device as a shoe-horn fit in the enterprise. That’s a concern not to be ignored, and it indeed may be something Apple could address in the future.
At first blush, Reitzes’ comments don’t shed any new light on the enterprise’s love affair with the iPad. But it does bring to the surface Apple’s slow moves to support its channel, which ultimately could make the difference in iPad’s reign as the king of the tablet mountain or its fall from grace due to its upstart competitors.