Despite the iPad's big head start in the enterprise - or large-business - market, Apple's tablet PC won't prosper there, according to an increasingly bullish Dell.
Speaking to PC Advisor's sister site CIO Australia in Sydney, Andy Lark, Dell’s global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organisations, said that while the first iPad had achieved one million sales just 28 days after the device first became available in the US and precipitated the explosion in tablet PCs, the product would ultimately fail in the enterprise sector.
"I couldn't be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm. But longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary," Lark said. "[Apple has] done a really nice job, they've got a great product, but the challenge they've got is that already Android is outpacing them.
"Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island. It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex."
While Apple had entered businesses as a consumer device, Lark claimed Dell had taken an enterprise approach toward tablet PCs, which will ultimately give the company, which has a major stake in Microsoft Windows and the desktop PC market, an edge.
"We've taken a very considered approach to tablets, given that the vast majority of our business isn't in the consumer space," he said. "[A company] like Samsung has to aggressively go after their business, but we've got a far more diversified footprint than some of these players."
The cost of Apple products was another deterrent to iPad deployments, with Lark claiming that the economics on a fully kitted iPad did not add up.
"An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you'll be at $1,500 or $1,600 [about £960 to £1,030]; that's double what you're paying," he claimed. "That's not feasible."
Despite the company's history with Microsoft, it had embraced both Windows Phone 7 and Android operating systems offerings as the market was increasingly moving away from Apple's iOS 4 offering.
"...Our strategy is multi-OS," Lark said. "We will do Windows 7 coupled with Android Honeycomb, and we're really excited. We think that giving people that choice is very important."
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