The iPad Air 2’s Huge Upside

I’ve had the privilege of using the iPad Air 2 for a little less than a week now and, despite the “sky is falling on the tablet market” themes we hear, I wanted to put the iPad Air upgrades into perspective. There are two ways to look at the iPad Air — a consumer angle which I will touch on in a later post and a less talked about enterprise angle to explore.

What most miss about the new iPad’s upside is the opportunity to extend computing to areas where it was not prevalent before. The PC, in the shape of a desktop and notebook, is an efficient design and has evolved to be specific to its purpose. Those two form factors are the best computers for deep work done sitting down. The PC in the shape of a tablet is not specifically designed to replace the desktop or notebook for those who sit down all day to work. There is, however, something the iPad is designed to replace that mobile field workers use frequently–the clipboard.

Building Inspector Looking At New Property

When we talk to companies deploying iPads or interested in deploying iPads, a primary observation stands out. iPad’s are largely being utilized by workers who did not previously use a computer regularly in their day job. This is because their job function requires them to stand or be moving most of the time. In essence, most of these workers carried around a clipboard along with some paper process as a part of their routine. This could be a safety officer or inspector on a job site who made notes and filled out forms just to go back to a desktop PC later in the day and enter data. Public health and safety workers have similar processes. Construction workers are using iPads loaded with blueprints and can interact with them digitally, even marking changes or updates to a design in real time. I’ve heard stories of iPads in use to interact electronically with manuals while working on an aircraft. I could rattle off dozens of stories from IT managers and CIOs who have shared with us the creative ways iPads are being deployed in the enterprise. The common theme among them all intertwines mobility with eliminating  inefficient paper processes with more efficient digital ones.

With that understanding, it makes sense Apple continues to make the iPad thinner and lighter. To use this “PC in the shape of a tablet” all day while on your feet, it has to be light. It has to be easy to hold and operate for long periods of time. Touch ID is another essential element for the iPad to fulfill its enterprise purpose in this context. These mobile field workers spend much of their time outside the four walls of the corporate office. They are the most likely to have their mobile devices lost or stolen. Security is crucial for these deployments and Touch ID, which works as flawlessly on the iPad Air 2 as on the iPhone from my experience, solves a critical pain point for enterprise deployments that previous iPads did not. Apple also made an improvement to the display essential for field worker deployment. If you go outside to use the iPad as part of your job, eliminating the glare is a valued feature. From my experience, the work Apple put in to make the iPad’s screen less reflective lives up to the promise.

From the perspective of how and why iPads are gaining ground in the enterprise, you can see why the newest improvements of the iPad Air 2 will be not just attractive but also necessary. The iPad’s head room for growth is significant. Based on the types of jobs that are extremely mobile and work done out in the field frequently, we estimate there are upwards of 300m jobs, and growing, where computers are not used today because they were in the shape of a notebook or desktop. Yet this is where the opportunity lies to bring a computer in the shape of a tablet.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

129 thoughts on “The iPad Air 2’s Huge Upside”

      1. I’m not a construction worker, per se. but in live performance production our work can be broken into two similar parts. First lots of planning and drawing at a desk. Then implementation/load-in on-site. The iPad has become a god send. Almost no paper and pen/stylus needed. Still not a complete substitute for 24×36 blueprints, but darn close. The blue prints will stay at a nearby table, but the tablet goes just about everywhere I go. Which is good because I am notorious about leaving paperwork just about anywhere. At this point a stylus is no better than constantly looking for a pen or pencil to write with.


        1. That’s very interesting. Assuming Apple goes ahead with a bigger-screen 12.9″ iPad, do you find yourself being excited by such a product or would you prefer the added portability of the 9.7″ iPad?

          1. I don’t have any use for a larger screen, but that’s not to say others feel the same. A bigger screen won’t really be much better for large drawings. I’m all about the portability.


          2. I would love a 13 inch iPad. I carry a slim bag anyway so portability wouldn’t be an issue, and I use a keyboard case with my iPad. I don’t do much walking around while working. My iPad 2 in a ZAGGFolio is quite heavy, I bet heavier than a 13 inch iPad would be. I don’t notice that it’s too heavy. But I have very strong hands and arms, maybe that’s why I don’t notice.

  1. “With that understanding, it makes sense Apple continues to make the iPad thinner and lighter. To use this “PC in the shape of a tablet” all day while on your feet, it has to be light. It has to be easy to hold and operate for long periods of time.”

    If that’s so, doesn’t the idea of a rumored 12.9″ iPad go against this philosophy? Also, if it replaces the clipboard or inefficient paper processes, as you mention, wouldn’t that make the use of a stylus almost essential or more productive?

    1. 1, as long as it’s lighter than a clipboard plus pad of paper, then a bigger iPad will go over well, especially for dealing with PDFs and similar things that don’t scale well on a smaller screen.

      2. If it exists, It’s possible that a 12″ iPad would be going after a different market niche — those creative professionals who have found the touchscreen device to be better for their needs than a keyboard-based PC.

      1. Actually, I’d assume smaller tablets to be favored, as long as you’re not doing a straight PDF port: they’re much easier to hold and sturdy, and if you go smart form, you basically only need to display 1 field at a time -especially if there’s branching/conditional fields: no more displaying unnecessary field and, reciprocally, all displayed fields MUST be filled.

        Case in point: deliveries. Some of my delivery services still use a paper clipboard; those who use an electronic gizmo have a very rugged palm-sized monstrosity with a pen.

        1. It depends. For situations in which PDF viewing or other things that benefit from a large screen, larger is better. For situations in which you aren’t needing a larger screen, lighter and more portable is better.

          I doubt there will be an iPad pro, I think the bigger screen use cases are too niche, and Apple rumour mongers have (again) confused prototype testing for a real product (and/or confused screens destined for a new 12″ retina MacBook Air for iPad screens). But I could be wrong.

          1. So you don’t think devices like the Surface Pro 3 have had a negative impact on iPad sales? Recently, I’ve been seeing more of them in use. One of my night school profs uses one.

          2. For the first time ever, I was at a meeting yesterday where I wasn’t the only one with a Surface Pro 3. There were 3 of them on the table, and those that didn’t seemed quite interested.

          3. My prof says vast majority of time he uses it as a laptop and in desktop mode. I don’t know if that’s indicative of the greater whole but it was interesting nonetheless. What has been your observation?

          4. I only use tablet mode in bed to fall asleep watching a movie, or when I’m using the pen.

          5. I think as usual Apple will wait to see if others’ large tablets (Samsung, and Lenovo have Android ones, MS has the Surface 3) get any traction, and follow if they do.

    2. “ … doesn’t the idea of a rumored 12.9″ iPad go against this philosophy?”

      Yes, that tablet that Apple didn’t release sure was a mistake. They never should have released it.

      “… wouldn’t that make the use of a stylus almost essential or more productive?”

      There are dozens of styli, of all shapes and kinds, that work with the iPad. This is not secret, hidden information. Products have been on the market for many years. Some were available long before the first iPad came off the assembly line. The whole, “the iPad does not support a stylus” argument needs to stop.

  2. Just came back from a trip where I picked up a rental from Enterprise. The transaction was completely paperless save for a sheet that was printed out and given to me at the checkpoint when I was leaving the rental lot. Where did I sign to seal the transaction? On a tablet. I find I’ve been signing on screens a lot using my index finger. It’s kind of awkward and I would prefer if they offered a stylus, but it’s not that big a deal. I suspect companies weighed the awkwardness factor versus scrambling every so often to find or replace that misplaced stylus and decided they prefer the former to the inconvenience and cost of the latter.

    1. Kind of funny in an observational way. I remember when styli first hit the scene to sign for things (UPS was my first encounter). It felt awkward. Then I noticed it got much easier. Now the same thing is happening signing with my finger. Awkward, but getting easier. So much of computing really boils down to task at hand and what someone is used to, not really whether one form is superior to another or not.


    2. Maybe eventually it will be replaced by a variation of TouchID and tokenization. Any time I’m asked to digitally “sign” something like my tax return by scribbling in a box or clicking a link, I can’t help but think how easy it can be for someone to break it or fake it.

      It’s all such a ridiculous form of confirming identity digitally.

  3. Is that iPad-specific or Tablet-general ?
    I’d assume rugged tablets or those with pen input to be better suited ?

    1. It took me three minutes of searching to find a Pelican iPad case and third party pen which solves the problem.

        1. Good luck finding thin and light and rugged from any manufacturer. Find a rugged tablet that’s better suited to the job than an iPad with a case, and I will be impressed – or maybe I’ll just find a different case.

  4. “Security is crucial for these deployments and Touch ID, which works as flawlessly on the iPad Air 2 as on the iPhone from my experience, solves a critical pain point for enterprise deployments that previous iPads did not.”

    This a common misconception. Touch ID isn’t about security, it’s about convenience. After all, there’s nothing more secure than an alphanumeric password of 32 characters, not even your fingerprint. For iPads to be used in business, it needs to be both convenient and secure. Even a 4-digit passcode can be too inconvenient when you are truly trying to replace pen and paper.

    So, “security is crucial for these deployments” should be “convenience is crucial for these deployments”. You can’t be fiddling around with passwords all the time when you’re trying to do work.

    1. If Apple enables dual factor authenticatIon (fingerprint + PIN), then that will be maximally secure. Actually, i’m surprised they haven’t already done so, it would be a key selling point for government contractors and other firms that require a high degree of security.

  5. I once had a small group of people work with me on a project where we had to confirm the identity of thousands of people with similar names. I created a web app to do this, and all that each person had to do was to look at a list of attributes and make a selection.

    This task was about two times faster on an iPad compared to a MacBook.

    The reason is, for a lot of computer related tasks, moving the cursor to on-screen controls is the bottleneck. In fact, for a lot of the tasks we do on a computer, moving the cursor around actually takes quite a bit of time. On the other hand, moving your finger to an on-screen button on a touch UI is much faster, and more importantly, much less stressful.

    What I learnt from this experience was that the iPad can be much more effective even at the tasks that you do on the desk. However, to make this come true, you need the computer to provide you with a short list of selections. If you force the user to enter some text, then the benefits of a touch UI will be lost.

    That’s why I think the IBM deal and anything else that accelerates app development for specific tasks is very very important.

    I don’t think that iPads will ever be as fast as PCs for general purpose apps like Microsoft Office. However, I do think that if we have apps that are designed specifically for the task on hand, iPads can be much more productive and much less stressful.

    The key is to design the app with domain specific intelligence so that text entry is almost unnecessary.

      1. Yes. Definitely.

        I’m pretty excited about the potential of Android or even low cost Windows tablets for these specific task oriented applications.

        1. Just to add, in this case, I expect the these tablets will simply be like a TV set top box.

          That is, you are purchasing a service or software; the hardware is simply a plug.

          I’m excited because these cheap tablets could make a lot of new services economically feasible, especially in countries where tablet penetration is not particularly high.

          As is the case with TV set top boxes, I wouldn’t expect much innovation in the hardware.

      2. Nothing is iPad specific. It’s just the iPad has all the apps, so at the moment it is, but if developers ever make apps for android/windows tablets for that form factor then maybe it will matter…

  6. Very good article, Ben. I think the clipboard is a useful metaphor for understanding how the tablet can be used for walking jobs.

    1. You’re probably right except that the majority of these business that will want to do so will probably go for a cheaper and less fragile android Tablet with Pen, Cloud base application, Deep security feature like Samsung Knox, including two step authentication.

      with business is not the computer you use that matter, rather the entire package that include applications, the convenience, the cost and the support that come with it.

      IPad are use in the business world mostly by executive.

      1. There are a wide range of reasons that we are seeing enterprises not go cheaper Android tablets for these deployments. There is not a single data point I have, can find, am told by fortune 500 CIO or CTO’s to suggest Android tabs are going anywhere in the enterprise.

        I can’t count any longer the number of tens of thousands of iPad deployments CIOs tell me they are rolling out in their large organizations for field workers. Your unfortunately dead wrong that iPad is just in business by execs. Every shed of evidence is to the contrary.

        I’ve also seen some tremendous internal analysis by large corporations who concluded the total cost of ownership of an iPad to deploy, support, manage, etc., was lower than if they went cheap Android. Like I said, these are smart folks and they are concluding iPad is the way to go for their mission critical field workers.

        1. that make a lot of sense because Up until last June I/O Google and the android OEM wasn’t ready for the enterprise.

          But if you were to take a look at what Google is doing this year with their Chromebook, Android and their suite of Google for work and Google for education you notice that they are building a huge and entire Cloud base and cross platform solution for business with a host of OEM that are well know among IT department and education that will make it very hard for Apple to compete due to the fact that IOS is not cross platform and still lack many integrated system, cloud solution and sells department including partnership.

          Look at how many school that have canceled their IPad project for a Chromebook solution.

          1. Chromebooks have many uses and Google offers a lot of great features. But if someone needs/prefers the tablet form factor, they are going to go with an iPad.

          2. For Enterprises is not about one product or one Platform is all about the entire solution and Tech support.

            IOS doesn’t integrate well with Chromebook and Google for work and cloud base solution

          3. Kenny. You offer a thoughtful, over-arching narrative. Do you have any examples of actual companies deploying in the manner you suggest, either via iOS (as “email only”) or Android?


          4. Maybe I’m missing something here. Those are mostly Google software solutions, not Android tablet deployments. Last two companies I worked at we used Google Apps pretty heavily, but almost exclusively on iOS devices.

            And while the NSA cert for Samsung is a feather in their cap, I don’t think this equates to deployment, just allowance, no?


          5. That’s what i said early
            since the June IO their are building a complete Cloud integrated solution with Chromebook and and Android by partnering with many other enterprise service and tools provider.

          6. So, while this _could_ happen, it appears based on Ben’s reporting, Android has a huge uphill battle ahead of them at best. So it isn’t quite so much a slam dunk for Android yet and still may not ever be.


          7. Far from it, Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell, who are well know among IT department are all ChromeAndroid partner

            that sounds more like the case for Apple than Android, Ben is just not Aware of Samsung product adoption in many enterprise in Korea and many Government, Hospital around the world.

            Most enterprise and government institution are moving the IT infrastructure to the cloud where Apple is Absent, and lack of cross platform, security, compatibility, experience and cost will make it very hard for Apple to be widely adopted in the enterprise

            Apple cannot even use their own platform internally why would other do?

          8. First red flag there bud is the Korea implementation. Korea is Samsung’s home turf so that is not surprising at all. And again, global enterprise deployment of Android tablets is extremely small. There are simply zero data points to suggest otherwise.

            As I said before, there is a mass of hard data on this. And again, if this changes and I do see Android grow in enterprise adoption I will add it to my analysis.

          9. I get your Point

            what i have been telling all along was the fact that your Data might be confusing because enterprise using IPad for some specific task is not the same as enterprise adopting IPad.

            besides Samsung is not only adopting in their own country, many government and organisation around the world including the US government and some European country are deploying Samsung enterprise solution as well to replace their BBM.

          10. I thought he was pretty clear that he is talking active enterprise adoption, development, and support, not just allowing BYOD. I could be wrong, but I don’t think he is confused at all. For instance, your point about Samsung and NSA is confusing adoption for being cleared for use. That’s not NSA adoption.


          11. iOS integrates with google/msft/everything because it has the most developers making devices for a tablet…

          12. “IOS is not cross platform”??? That is true….I guess. IOS is only one platform. But I assume you are talking about the software and services available Apple provides, in which case that’s simply not true. Everything you can do on a chromebook you can do on an IPad. Most services Apple provides, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and ICloud drive and more are available on all platforms, even Windows and Chromebooks.

          13. the example you gave above are simply basic application and note en entire enterprise solution.

            there is a big difference between a cloud base App and a Cloud based platform solution.

            cross platform is about integration and interaction of Data between different provider, server, and Tools,

          14. I repeat ALL applications available on a Chromebook are available on an IPad. You’re argument has no merit.

          15. Again, every large scale CIO survey data we see reveals little to no momentum for Android tablets. Vast majority going to iOS, despite whatever Google has tried to do with security in Android is going iOS. This is not me speaking from opinion there is an abundance of hard data on this subject.

          16. Can you provide us with some Facts about this claim and also the Job that their employee are doing with the IPad?

          17. As I outline in my post, it is largely field deployments. Chevron for example deployed 30,000 company wide because they wrote custom iOS software as a part of their ERP systems for iOS. Field workers, plant security, repairs, etc, all digital now and used as a part of a real time enterprise strategy.

            I have dozens of stories and as a part of my analysis firm Creative Strategies, we highlight our CTO and CIO surveys for large IT, and enterprise focused PC OEMs and we highlight all this data. As I’m sure you know my reports are on the subject and our research is widely read by nearly all major technology companies both in consumer and enterprise.

            This IBM deal will only further drive iPad as the standard tablet for the enterprise.

          18. @benbajarin:disqus Ben there is a big difference between company providing IPad for some worker for some specific task than saying the IPad is widely adopt in the enterprise.

            because from what i known in enterprise, wide adoption require complete solution, which provide compatibility, tech support, contractual services function, IT Tools, and guaranty security.

            If i am not mistaking Apple doesn’t provide these stuffs yet,

          19. Actually they do, both from iOS manageability, policy management, etc, and through the IBM deal. This is why iPad’s are deployed in over 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Similar stat for Android tablets is less than 10%.

            As I said, this is not opinion this is happening. Facts are facts in this case Kenny.

          20. None of that is an indication of wide adoption beyond Email forwarding and low level application support primarily fro executive and some worker for specific task,

            that could change with the IBM Partnership but only time will tell

          21. I’d have you read my report with all the data but it is quite a bit costly. 😉

            Like I said, we are well beyond opinions as this point. The market data and CIO / CTO interviews speak for themselves. iPad’s rapid adoption in enterprise is a market reality we observe right now. If things change I’ll let everyone know.

          22. i am aware of these tools but in all honesty they are a joke compare to Microsoft and Google Enterprise Cloud offering

          23. They are not meant to compete with cloud or even on-premise services. Apple is focused on application development and device management and in these regard are many steps ahead of Google and even Microsoft.

          24. How many schools? Our district is using iPads, MacBook Air, Chrome books, iTouch and iMacs. iPads are used by every student, Chrome books are on carts, iMacs are used in the labs, Airs are on dedicated desks and iMack are in lab rooms. This setup is the same for elementary and middle schools.

            Basically, the school is setting up tools for the students to use when, where, and how they see fit. There isn’t a ‘there is only one way….’

            I believe your view is a dissipating view. I would study how the youth group uses tech… they are not married to any specific company, only how best to get the ‘job’ done.

      2. A good case makes the iPad indestructible for any applications, and the iPad has all the apps… that’s why the iPad is used in the department of defense. Knox doesn’t have traction yet..

  7. @benbajarin:disqus Touch ID is not really a security feature, it’s a convenience,
    when talking about security feature in business world you need to look at things such as BBM or Samsung Knox system

    1. iOS is inherently secure as well. Touch ID is a convenience that stems from the inherent security. Workers don’t need to input the 10 digit password assigned them to log into their corporate apps or the iPad in general. This is convenient but its a huge feature.

      1. IOS is more of a controlled platform than it is about security features, without something such as Knox system or BBM and a suite of enterprise feature similar to Google for work, i doubt that the IPad will see major adoption in the Enterprise side beyond Email forwarding and low level application, something that could change with their IBM partnership

        1. How wrong you are. Samsung’s Knox is designed to create a partition between sensitive work programs and your personal programs. IOS is a sandboxed operating system, so it’s natively designed to prevent inter-application malware and data leaks. The security in IOS is considered the gold standard in enterprise which is one of the reasons IBM partnered with them and the IPad has been the preferred choice. Also, Knox requires a subscription, where IPad provides security for free. Knox does not set the standard for security, at best it removes security as a reason not to purchase an Android tablet.

          1. To be polite lets just say that you’re miss inform if you think that The security in IOS is considered the gold standard in enterprise.

          1. You’re Joking right

            you expect me to read something about Samsung from Apple insider writing by the biggest Apple IFan Boy

            Let me guess, is it about Samsung being the devil that need to be stop by Apple the new Jesus Joke

          2. one Blogger, really

            Many IT Certification, Security Experts and consortium say otherwise, why should a listen to an Apple IFan boy or a blogger

            there is no such things as perfect security system it’s all about standard that reduce risk not eliminated it

          3. If you think that you didn’t understand the article. Knox is not open source so no one has had the opportunity to look at the details unless they reverse engineered it like mobilesecurityares did. So unless he messed up the reverse engineering, Knox is now known to be insecure. You don’t have to believe me or him, it will become clear in the next few days as more people pick up on this story. Wishful thinking isn’t going to help.

          4. in a sense you think this Blogger has done a better job than all the IT Certification, Security Experts and consortium and even Google who are known to be one of the best at testing the Knox system for Vulnerability

            is that your point?

          5. “known to be” doesn’t mean a lot. For instance, the FDA is “known to be” a better friend to drug companies and the meat industry rather than to the people who consume their products. Also, I don’t think many would say Samsung is “known to be” a great software developer.

          6. That’s the biggest crock of doodoo ever. But leave to the Elitist Applewellian F-Troops to attempt to reverse engineer a multilayered Security System, that isn’t just about software. Moronic iDiotcy at it’s absolute finest. Especially since it’s all built on top of ARM’s own IBM partnership to design their TrustZone locking vault core to do what no software can ever do alone. Paired up with NSA’s Secure Linux Kernel that Apple’s iOS can never have, because it’s not Open Source!

            Samsung’s KNOX had IBM MaaS360 support before IBM even bought them. KNOX afterall isn’t just one thing. It includes a vast array of partners. Partners like IBM…. who’ve been a Samsung Partner for over a decade in the Common Platform Alliance. Not to mention around a dozen other projects:

            Since last year MaaS360 has had the ability to remote control Samsung Galaxy devices:

            All Apple has is a security core designed pre-Cell Security by PA Semi in A series processors. It does not have any of the features IBM themselves use on their own systems running a variety of Linux operating systems. That they just last year re-committed themselves to spending Millions in supporting. Here’s their original page on Cell Security and maybe you can understand why TrustZone is so important for the operation of Secure Devices to this day:

            If….. Sony (Sir Howard Stringer on the CHEAP) had gone according to Ken Kutaragi’s Original Security plans (who was a high level engineer and had created the concept of two step remote authentication and PS3 HPC Distributed Computing Network) the PS3 would have never been hacked, as it was using Sir Stringer’s Russian Hacker DRM software security only. It was a terrible waste of R&D money on technology only IBM took advantage of!

            Now finally you Apple fans here have to realize that, just because of a new partnership, IBM still does NOT trust Apple as far as they could throw them. Apple has done far too much damage to IBM for them to ever really get over that. So all that partnership will produce is some proprietary Apps developed in conjunction with Apple for Enterprise. It will not mean that Apple’s chip security will be redesigned to IBM and ARM’s Trustzone Standards utilizing ARM full ARMv8 instruction sets and hardware designs. It is NOT an exclusive to only sell iOS devices to their own Enterprise customers. IBM will continue to offer not just Galaxy devices to Enterprise, but w/ KNOX basics now included in core Android OS in Lollipop…… they will also be selling other Android maker devices. They will continue to make Apps for Android in their own Open Source focused MobileFirst framework testbed!

            It does not mean that Apple will now magically have full separate user logins running concurrently both firewalled, one from the other with full MaaS360 Remote Controll-ability of just the enterprise side. Leaving BYOD user’s privacy intact!

            THE TOPPER!!!! ……IBM was recently involved in putting in Bids for US Navy and FBI’s recent efforts to acquire 26,500 KNOX Suite Licenses and if you think neither of them haven’t already fully explored their choices, then you’re even more brain dead than the fools claiming to have completely proved KNOX Entire Suite of Tools and offerings is even remotely vulnerable.

            Until Apple can demonstrate their own two persona concurrent logins along with Real TrustZone hardware Locking Vault security, you won’t see them getting near the Government and Enterprise deals that Samsung and other Android devices makers will be getting for BYOD customers now! …….granted the rumor is that Apple is working on a new cross platform OS for ARM and Desktop use…. but it’s already too late with Android still projected to hold a 88% market share by next year just for the BYOD Market! ……because REAL PEOPLE use ANDROID!!!

  8. Business users put obnoxious cases on their ipads. Light and thin changes are diminishing returns.

    The processor is the only reason to upgrade. You want your apps to be instant for as long as possible so you don’t have to upgrade so frequently.

    1. “Business users put obnoxious cases on their ipads. Light and thin changes are diminishing returns.”

      Thin and light makes a difference even if the device is in a case — because the filled case will be that much thinner and that much lighter than it was before. Also, unless the case is some kind of military-grade ruggedized tank, cases can be quite slim and lightweight, protecting against a broken screen without adding too much bulk.

      1. of course.

        But there is a point where it won’t be noticeable to the human hand. The thin and light argument is a very short term one. It’s all about performance and eventually battery.

  9. Agree totally with Ben’s view. However, I also think there is enormous potential for a larger screen version of the iPad to replace the desktop PC when used for less intensive tasks. In enterprise, many PC’s are operated in a’lock down’ mode running a single programme, or used for a limited number of tasks such as email, word processing and spreadsheet.
    What the iPad needs for such use cases is an attachable stand/cradle that allows use at an optimal 35 to 45 degree angle. Also, such a device would not need a huge capacity (and costly) battery since it would run mainly on mains power.
    A desktop iPad would also be attractive to consumers as a low cost desktop PC replacement, for the large number of people for whom today’s desktop PC overserves in terms of processing power.

    1. Lots of reasons. The specs are actually pretty important in terms of decisions of how they are used. Co’s that need to take images on site for analysis want the best camera. Those who use rich graphics for things like blue-prints, building schematics like in architecture implementation we are seeing, medical also, need rich graphics capabilities. This is why the spec improvements are a big deal. And of course the convenience of Touch ID.

        1. I encourage you to read some of the case studies of how iPad’s are being deployed. You will see that while there are a few other tablets that fill similarly holes, there is some solid rationale IT houses used to go with iPad over others. Chevron for example concluded that besides the above feature points I mentioned above, in the long run in terms of less frequent replacements due to iPad’s quality, as well as manageability, and a host of other reasons, the total cost of ownership/management was less in the long run with iPad.

          1. Thank you for your insightful response.

            I read the article, once I got past the headline, with an eye on the potential of the (unbranded) form factor.

            There are many reasons companies make purchasing decisions of vendor A over vendors B,C, and D. The reasons you state are perfectly valid, for those that chose Company A. I’m sure there are others that have deals to use the Surface, Galaxy, Vivitabs, etc., and they have their reasons.

            I imagine that the notions of Apple curating iPads for IT vanish, except where it’s desired by IT. That is, an IT department does not need to submit home grown Apps for approval by Apple.

  10. Pilots need to check up data constantly regarding operational limits: every time a runway changes or the weight of the aircraft varies beyond a certain amount ( mostly a bit more than a couple of passengers), or a component is unserviceable.
    Also, they regularly need access to legal information about working time regulations, dangerous goods and passenger behavior. It’s much easier to find something in a pdf file than in printed media.
    Not to mention the beautiful maps available with a brilliant feature: zoom in.

  11. One thing with mobile working is the ruggedness of an electronic device. It does not matter how thin the iPad air is. It will need to be carried in a casing that protects the device because of rough use. I use the iPad and the iPhone at work all the time and I move around a lot. I have dropped both of them and had the glass shattered on the iPhone, despite having hard casing and protection. It cost me a lot of money to get the glass replaced. And when something like this drops and becomes unavailable for use, waiting to be fixed, my reliance on good old notebook and clip board/pen increases more. People who wear hard hats work in rough environments. Thinner and lighter tablet is of least concern to them. They need ruggedness and reliability. Sure the form factor of the iPad really does help. But fragile electronic devices are always looked at with suspicion. I tried keeping all important information in a vault like app for quick and easy access. One day that app took forever to open following a software update. Call me old fashioned, but the paper and notebook have always been very reliable.

  12. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

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  16. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

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