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Dell insists tablets having no effect on PC in enterprise

updated 12:20 pm EDT, Mon April 18, 2011

Dell pays for study to steer business from tablets

Dell on Monday published a study it had conducted in hopes of steering companies away from tablets. The results, conducted by Forrester in February, had just eight percent of workers considering an iPad or Android tablet one of the two devices they'd want to have. A similar amount wanted a Windows tablet, but demand for smartphones and computers ranged from 41 percent to 59 percent.

The PC builder's Paul D'Arcy argued that there were some benefits to getting a tablet for mobility, especially for health care or retail, but also cast doubt on whether they would ever replace PCs outright. Adding them would also bring "another layer of challenges" to staff who already had to start supporting personal smartphones and computers, he claimed.

"They can replace paper-based systems and introduce new productivity places, but this only makes them a companion device, not a replacement for existing PCs," D'Arcy said. "In a market where strategies are constantly evolving, in an ecosystem that has yet to mature, the one thing we can bet on is this: the PC is not dead."

The same study, however, also showed significant interest in tablets and partly contradicted the Dell conclusions. Of IT officers asked, at least 53 percent saw more than a low level interest in tablets, the largest portion of which were executives asking for their own. Companies also said they expected a large portion of all their staff to find more uses for tablets. Even in one piece of the survey, conducted last summer, about 82 percent also saw official support for smartphones and tablets going up at least five percent in the next two years.

The study is somewhat suspect as it was paid for in February by Dell and Intel, both of whom would see the most benefit from keeping the iPad and its rivals out of the workplace. Dell's non-PC tablets have so far been limited to the home oriented Streak line where all its intended business sales are focused on desktops and notebooks. Intel in turn has its own minority stake in tablets through its Atom processors but also stands to make much more money from regular notebook and desktop chips.

Although the specific effects on corporate buying haven't been mentioned, the iPad has been shrinking overall PC sales at the same time as businesses were believed to be delaying their system upgrades. Mobile OS tablets like Apple's or those using Google's platform still only sometimes have desktop-level software and often don't have the expansion companies need or want, but they have been pushing into top firms as notebook alternatives for presentations, e-mail, and mobile-friendly apps like Salesforce.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Following Acer's footsteps

    Denial is not a river in Egypt.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    the iPad is a compliment in many cases

    The iPad is a compliment to a PC in the enterprise in a lot of cases, but not a replacement.

    We are piloting the iPad at my work, and it won't be replacing anyone's PC, they will just have an option of also having an iPad.

    In some cases, where a worker may just do some data entry on a web based interface sure we'll replace some laptops, but that number of users (for us) is pretty small compared to the amount who will either have both, or just a PC.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Since You Won't Buy Our Streaks ...

    ... we're going to try to convince you that you shouldn't buy them.

    And we're simultaneously going to try to convince you to stop buying ... er ... we mean ... that no one's buying iPads either.

  1. tsmelker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Same tune, different company

    Taking a page right out of Micro$oft's playbook... "Nobody likes Apple's products, Mac OS is a closed system, our product has more market share, can't use Apple's products for business, blah blah blah." Someone please pull Dell CEO's head out of Ballmer's behind...

    Same old sour grapes whine.

  1. Camelot

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 1999


    Obvious, given the brief

    Look at the initial question - "what two work devices...'

    Even I would agree with the majority here - a laptop and a smartphone (iPhone, of course) make the most sense for me in the current environment. No one is going to give up their smartphone and if a tablet is a 'companion device' it doesn't make sense to have a phone and a tablet, therefore a laptop (or desktop) would clearly be the number 2 choice. Tablet may be a strong #3 but Dell can't count to three, apparently.

    I can only hope that Dell keep drinking their own Kool Aid because in 3-5 years when the current market is turned on its head and tablets (and the cloud) are the preeminent model they'll be truly up the proverbial creek.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    First Post in this Thread to SMDWUHA*!!!!

    Dell could head off all of their problems in the coming tablets-and-cloud based market by simply liquidating their assets and giving the money back to their shareholders.

    *Shove Michael Dell's Words Up His ASSociation

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