Is iPad for the Business World?

On Wednesday, technology enthusiasts everywhere sat in front of their computer screens waiting for the long anticipated announcement of Apple’s newest creation, the iPad tablet device. Although rumors over the last few months have speculated the device to be the “one to end all other devices” what will actually hit Apple Stores in March may not live up to the hype. Now that the smoke has cleared, RDM takes a look at what the device WILL be able to do and if it may be useful to the business world.

The iPad resembles a larger iPod Touch featuring a 9.7 inch screen. It is slightly smaller than a magazine, weighs only 1.5 pounds and is 0.5 inch thin. It features the same multi-touch screen as an iPhone and a battery that can last up to 10 hours while in use; in order to achieve this, the company created their own chip called the A4. When the device hits Apple Stores in March, it will come with a built-in Wi-Fi, available with a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB models and will start at $499. A 3G model will be available in April with data plans available from AT&T, their lowest plan starting at $14.99/month.

Apps for the iPad allow this device to be a useful tool for the business professional. iBook, the new Apple e-reader app, utilizes the devices large screen for reading books, magazines and newspapers. iWork, Apple’s business productivity suite, will have an iPad-specific version to create presentations, documents, and spreadsheets. Although apps in Apple’s iTunes App Store will be cross-compatible on all three devices, we will have to wait for additional business-specific apps for iPad. Here are some more reasons why the iPad wouldn’t work for business:

- The iPad currently does not have camera which means it cannot be a tool for video conferencing
- It lacks USB ports which make it unable to connect to other devices on its own, you will need specific adapters for each device
- It does not support Flash and will not be able to view some websites correctly
- Currently the iPad does not allow for multitasking; for example, a user cannot listen to music and send email

Apple will not release the device until March, so there is still time for the company to fix these problems. However, as it was presented on Wednesday, the new iPad appears to be better suited for entertainment rather than business.