Dell: Apple iPad will fail in the enterprise

By on March 30, 2011, 10:41 AM
Dell has declared that the Apple iPad will not succeed in the enterprise. The device has been selling really well, and is even ahead of its competitors in the business world, but those are just the results for the short term. Andy Lark, Dell's global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organizations, believes that in the longer term, the iPad will fail.

"I couldn't be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm but longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary," Lark told CIO Australia. "[Apple has] done a really nice job, they've got a great product, but the challenge they've got is that already Android is outpacing them. Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island. It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex. We've taken a very considered approach to tablets, given that the vast majority of our business isn't in the consumer space. [A company] like Samsung has to aggressively go after their business, but we've got a far more diversified footprint than some of these players."

Lark argues that the cost of Apple products is a huge deterrent for iPad deployments in the corporate world. That may be true, but Lark makes offers some odd numbers, saying that an iPad with a keyboard, mouse, and a case will set you back $1500 or $1600. We're not sure how he got that price given that the most expensive version of the device goes for $830. We seriously doubt businesses need to purchase $670 or $770 worth of iPad accessories for their environments.

As for Dell's own strategy, Lark says his company is sticking with two operating systems: Windows 7 and Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb). "We think that giving people that choice is very important," he said. It's too bad such a device is not yet available from the company.

Last month, Dell offered up the Dell Streak 7 for $450. The tablet has pretty decent hardware: a 7-inch WVGA display with Gorilla Glass protection, Nvidia's dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2, 16GB of internal memory (expandable by up to 32GB via an SD card slot), and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera accompanied by Qik Video Chat. The software is apparently not so good, however, as it runs Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) rather than Android 3.0, which was designed with tablets in mind.

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