Apple's newest iPad already has CIOs and IT professionals planning accordingly. In a recent ChangeWave Research survey, more than one in five business IT buyers said they now plan to buy the new iPad, which goes on sale March 16, during the second quarter of 2012.
That 22 percent, according to ChangeWave, represents the highest level of corporate iPad demand ever found in its surveys.
As of February, 84 percent of the companies that said they plan to buy tablets in the second quarter now say they'll purchase iPads, ChangeWave reported March 13. That figure represents a seven-point jump from a similar November survey.
What's good for Apple, of course, is lousy for the competition.
"The impending release of the new iPad is also having an impact on business purchases of tablets made by other manufacturers," ChangeWave said in a report excerpt.
While Apple's November through February change was a seven-point bump, company plans for buying tablets from other manufacturers fell in every instance. Samsung dipped from 10 percent in November to 8 percent in February, Amazon's tablets from 7 percent to 6 percent, Hewlett-Packard from 5 to 4 percent, Asus from 4 to 3 percent, Dell and Research In Motion each fell from 5 to 3 percent, Lenovo from 3 to 2 percent, and Motorola--representing a 50 percent change, the worst of all--fell from 4 percent saying they planned to buy Motorola tablets to just 2 percent.
Any good luck beyond Apple falls to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. While WiFi-only tablets have been a preference for consumers, more business users than not plan to purchase wireless services, 30 percent from AT&T, 29 percent from Verizon and 4 percent from Sprint, which, despite finally offering the iPhone, will not be privy to the brand-new iPad.
Another 11 percent said they'd do without, leaning on WiFi alone.
Analysts have expected the new iPad to be a hit with IT professionals--though it may bring some challenges, too.
Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi told eWEEK that the iPad's increased resolution is likely to resonate with users needing to "show brochures or other marketing material."
In the United States, she added, "the addition of LTE Long-Term Evolution might appeal to some organizations whose users are particularly mobile and therefore more reliant on cellular coverage and speed."
IHS iSuppli expects specialty markets such as health care and transportation to be strong verticals for Apple, and most especially education. Earlier this year, Apple launched a textbook program, and it has been aggressively wooing educators.
Apple's new A5X chip will markedly speed things up, and users excited to enjoy content on the high-definition display may quickly speed through monthly data allotments. Those hopping on WiFi, as a work-around, could quickly bog down a corporate network, some fear.
Milanesi speculated that the cost of the iPad, often being shouldered by individuals though used in the enterprise, may help temper the rollout. If business IT buyers stay true to their survey answers, however, during the second quarter, WiFi and wireless broadband networks may quickly feel the impact of a new tablet in town.
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