Is the iPad a serious business tool? That's what AT&T
Business love for iPhones, not surprising
On AT&T's conference call, CFO Rick Lindner had the following to say:
One thing that's been encouraging and a bit surprising so far is the level of interest from business customers. And when we first introduced the iPhone, the businesses -- and in particular CIOs at the -- of our business customers were reluctant, and they kind of pushed back on bringing the iPhone into their infrastructure. And over time that's -- as you know, has changed dramatically, and now we have businesses that are developing applications and putting their own applications and content down on the iPhone base within their companies.
AT&T boasting of iPhone acceptance shouldn't come as a surprise. In May, AT&T revealed that 40% of iPhone sales were to business users. While IT departments may have concern about security issues, the iPhone handles typical email functions well, and the gap between its functionality and a BlackBerry's isn't vast.
Business love for tablets, more surprising
However, AT&T indicates businesses have found unconventional ways to use the iPad. They're giving it to employees for specialized tasks where a lightweight device is optimal and developing custom applications.
Even with limitations, business users are finding ways to utilize tablets. In some ways, this validates Cisco's
Winners and losers in the world of tablets
Microsoft shareholders would be deservedly misty-eyed if these tablet trends took. The company spent more than a decade developing tablet concepts, with little success to show for their efforts. In the end, pushing a full featured operating system at tablets has proven sub-optimal. Cisco's Cius could be successful because it uses Google's
On the winner side, desktop virtualization makers stand to gain. Both VMWare
AT&T citing an "encouraging" level of business interest for the iPad is hardly the information that strong investing decisions are made of. However, as more tablets roll out the door, pay close attention to whether Cisco's vision can gain traction. If tablet computing can make sense for business users, there are many companies other than Apple that stand to see huge gains.
Eric Bleeker owns shares of Cisco. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google and Vmware are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.