Apple iPad Tablet: For Vertical Market Applications?

Many pundits think Apple is set to launch some sort of Tablet computer -- the so-called iPad, iSlate or iGuide -- sometime in January or February 2010. At first glance, an Apple Tablet would target consumer applications. Still, there are hints Apple plans to push mobile devices deeper into vertical business markets like retail point of sale and health care. But will MSPs back the Apple products?

First, a little background. Yes, Apple has some vertical market partners. A few examples include:

Meanwhile, Apple has customized its iPod Touch to be used as a wireless point of sale device within Apple stores. There's growing speculation that Apple will  commercialize the POS device for other retailers to use.

Apple's Next Move?

Next up: The continued Apple Tablet rumors. TechCrunch has been researching Apple trademarks and domain names. Anecdotal evidence suggests Apple may launch a tablet device -- potentially called iGuide or iSlate -- in January or February 2010. And GigaOm is out with a list of must-have features for the potential Apple offering.

Most of the Apple Tablet coverage across the web mentions consumer-driven applications -- from movies to iTunes to eBook reading. But consider this: Each time Apple introduces a new consumer device (iMac, iPhone, etc.) it seems to eventually find a following within businesses. So I wonder: Will ISVs (independent software vendors) see an Apple Tablet as a potential vertical market device?

We all know Tablet PCs have found a home in doctors offices and hospitals. Could an Apple Tablet be just what the doctor ordered? And will solutions providers -- particularly MSPs -- increase their focus on Apple-related solutions?
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