updated 09:00 pm EDT, Tue March 29, 2011
Dell exec certain iPad will fail in enterprise
Dell's head of global enterprise marketing Andy Lark told CIO in an interview Tuesday that he was certain the iPad would be overtaken in the enterprise by Android and Windows. He saw the runaway sales as having created the market for tablets in the office but that a "diverse, open, connected" approach would ultimately win. Dell would succeed because it had a "very considered" approach that included more than one operating system and addressed the workplace, not just the home, like Apple.
The executive made questionable claims as to what might hold Apple back. He argued that an iPad with a "keyboard, a mouse, and a case" would cost between $1,500 and $1,600, well in excess of the actual combined cost. Although Android tablets only just entered the market in the fall and combined had just reached a few million sales, three million of which were Samsung's lifetime Galaxy Tab sales, he was convinced Google had already taken a lead. "The challenge they’ve got [at Apple] is that already Android is outpacing them," he claimed.
Dell's history with tablets has been long but largely uneventful. It has been selling traditional convertible tablets such as the Latitude XT series but continues to sell them only to niche industries, such a some artists, doctors, and in-the-field workers. It just recently tried its first real pushes into the mainstream with the Streak, Streak 7, and Insprion Duo (pictured). All of these have been limited to just a handful of sales outlets and have never sold in enough numbers for Dell to boast of its results.
Apple sold about 14.8 million iPads in 2010, more than all Windows tablet PCs ever made, and has been cutting into the enterprise with 80 percent of the Fortune 100 using the iPad in some capacity, often in volumes above any earlier tablet efforts. Android 3.0, Google's first true tablet-native OS, has only been on the market for a month and hasn't yet had time to prove whether it can climb to iPad levels.