Dell Exec Disses iPad as Pricey, Complicated

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 03-30-2011

A Dell executive is attracting a massive amount of attention for suggesting the Apple iPad will eventually bomb in the enterprise.

"Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island," Andy Lark, who leads the global marketing efforts for Dell's Large Enterprise Group, told CIO Australia in a March 28 interview. "It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex."

Part of the iPad's Achilles Heel, he continued, was the cost of the tablet with accessories: "An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you'll be at $1,500 or $1,600; that's double of what you're paying. ... That's not feasible."

Questions aside of why one would need a mouse to navigate a touch-screen interface, Lark also advocated Dell's strategy for the tablet space. "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. "We've got a far more diversified footprint than some of these players."

Dell has taken something of a meandering path into the tablet market. In August 2010, the manufacturer released the 5-inch Streak to the U.S. market. Running Google Android, and capable of making phone calls, the device seemed to suffer something of an identity crisis: Was it a very small tablet, or a larger smartphone?

Dell obviously hoped the original Streak would appeal to an audience in the market for both types of device--and seemed willing to take the risk that, in attempting to hit that sweet spot between the two, the Streak would end up an also-ran in the tablet and smartphone categories.

In any case, Dell soon went back to the proverbial drawing board and produced the Dell Streak 7, a 7-inch tablet clearly designed to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook. Like the other Android tablets hitting the market at the time, the Streak 7 runs Android 2.2 (or "Froyo"), which was developed for smartphones' smaller screens; as the device reached store shelves, Dell promised "over-the-air" software updates in the future, presumably to the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 (or "Honeycomb").

For more, read the eWEEK article: Dell Exec: Apple's iPad Too Expensive and Complex for Businesses.