News Analysis - Apple iPad Signals More Innovation in Healthcare, Education and Professional Services

(28-Jan-10) Apple has unveiled its long anticipated tablet computer, the iPad. The iPad is the culmination of Apple's entrance into the mobile device market, starting with the iPod in 2001.

"The iPad has the capacity to introduce new ways of working to several industries, much the way the iPhone has changed what consumers expect from smartphones," said Mark Tauschek, Lead Research Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group. "Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch have found their way into enterprises and the iPad and other devices in this form factor will almost certainly find a home in enterprises.  The biggest impact will likely be seen in the medical, professional services and educational fields where larger screens, and the ability to interact with documents, records or plans is required."

The iPhone, and similar devices, have become highly successful with apps that help doctors view digital imaging and allow students to have ubiquitous access to online educational content (including text books). However, small screens have limited the penetration of potential game changing solutions coming to market.

Apple's iPad features a 9.7" LCD screen, alleviating most of the issues users have experienced in the past, and claims up to 10 hours of battery life. Tablets running Windows 7 and Google Android are in development and will be available soon. However Apple has likely set the bar with the iPad, and now other OEMs will strive to deliver comparable devices.

“IT departments can expect to see requests to purchase and support this new generation of tablet computers. I suspect medical professionals will see the benefits of having a tablet, and many students and educators will probably prefer to carry around an iPad-like device instead of a traditional laptop." said Tauschek.

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