Ok, so I will admit that I have an IPad. Do I use it? Before I answer that question let me give you the back story on why I have an IPad in the first place….
I found myself on the road quite a bit. Travelling from city to city, event to event, customer to customer. With me, I always had my trusty backpack. In it was a wide variety of tools and tricks of the trade including my trusty, bulky, heavy laptop. This was fine and dandy on most occasions but I also found myself riding my motorcycle more due to increasing gas prices. Needless to say, my back was KILLING me. I had this thought…one of many that I always think will change my life and make things so much easier, that if I could just replace this laptop with something smaller! Wow! What an idea! My back wouldn’t hurt anymore and I could look like I was on the cutting edge in front of all of my customers! WIN WIN!!
So away I went searching for what I wanted. Being the Apple guy that I am, it didn’t take long. The IPad had been out for a while and I had the same experience with marketing that the rest of the nation has had. Genius. Catchy music, fashionable people and oh my gosh! Look at everything that thing can do! Shopping I went. Home I came. Got the glaring look from the wife that clearly stated without words that “I can’t believe you bought another toy” and then came the fun part….
I quickly discovered that out of the box, this device could not change my life instantly. I had to find APPS! I mean really….the commercial stated that there is an app for that so shopping I went again. 75 dollars later spent in the Appstore, I was ready to go. I could open and edit word documents, edit Excel spreadsheets and modify my PowerPoints. I could Remote Desktop into a customer’s network to fix an issue; I could even enter my time to keep the boss happy!
I never made it to the point where I would leave my laptop behind on a trip. I did make it as far as going to see customers for meetings and using the tablet to take notes while the laptop was in the car. Needless to say, my back received no relief. In fact, I may have made it worse because I added weight to my already heavy backpack.
With all of that said, that is just my experience with the tablet. I see various markets where the tablet is going to be, and already is, a game changer. Health Care is a good one. There are already various EMR software out there specifically for tablets. Instead of a computer or laptop in every exam room, each doctor will have a tablet.
CES recently took place in Las Vegas. I didn’t have the benefit of going (I am taking donations for next year though). From what I am reading, tablets were a huge part of this year’s event. With that said, it seems that a majority of what was displayed was just prototypes. There seemed to be quite a few tablets that are scheduled to run the new Honeycomb OS but didn’t have it on them. To me, that kind of defeats the purpose. I would have wanted to see the functionality. I mean really, this isn’t a car show. What I am waiting to see is who develops and markets a device specifically for the corporate environment. The only issue that I see with this is the same issues that we are seeing with cell phones. Employees want to bring their device of choice into the office and set it up to do their work.
I recently read an article on Reuters about a Cisco tablet http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/02/us-cisco-idUSTRE7B127I20111202 that I didn’t know existed. More importantly, this article gave some great information about the current market place and the sheer numbers associated with what is going on in the tablet market. There seems to be a new device every time that I turn around, but the one constant that I see, is Apple and the IPad. Is there anyone out there that can take the market away from them?