Apple preparing for cheaper iPad 2 enterprise push?

Apple preparing for cheaper iPad 2 enterprise push?

Summary: Reports suggest that while Apple is ramping up for an iPad 3 launch, a push for an enterprise-focused, cheaper iPad 2 with less memory could also be on the cards.

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TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Mobility
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Rumour mill Digitimes reports this morning that Apple is readying a cheaper, 8GB version of its current iPad 2, alongside the upcoming expected iPad 3 tablet. An announcement is set for March 7th.

"In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted."

Forget the iPad 3 for now. The chances are it will be priced at the same level as the iPad 2's 16GB and 32GB models, and will be an expensive device that only the wealthy companies can viably take advantage of.

A cheaper version of its older iPad 2 device may not have been a widely considered option until the report out today. The lesser memory also makes sense, allowing for the cheaper manufacturer of the device to reflect on cheaper volume pricing, and ultimately a lower cost to the business spending. Tablets only need to run a few applications, rather than act as storage device. That's what servers and datacenters are for.

Apple's focus on the enterprise market has yet to shine through since Tim Cook's takeover last year. While consumer focus is still strong, its business focus could be better.

Digitimes is mixed at best. The report cannot be verified but it does not prevent the media from jumping on it as though it is fact. A similar report from the publication said that Apple is delivering samples of a 7.85-inch iPad device, which would aggressively compete with existing mid-sized range tablets already present on the market.

Whether Apple will break away from the usual mould and actively and directly compete with a rival product, it remains to be seen.

It is not Apple's style to 'react' to a rival, in this case the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook. It could also take a swipe at the upcoming range of business-focused Windows 8 'slates'.

Apple sticks at what it does, and remains interested but not fixated on market share. While its users still thinks that the company can do wrong, it knows otherwise. Consumers will remain faithful, but the enterprise still requires the 'cheaper' factor.

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Topics: iPad, Apple, Mobility

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55 comments
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  • Good idea for schools

    My school is getting ready to implement an iPad program into its elementary school. A cheaper iPad would only help in getting them into the hands of our students. Here's to hoping the rumor mill is generating something of substance this time...
    bradandmary
    • bad idea for schools

      our school uses good old desktops and kids are required to have a flash drive (which is listed on their supply list along with pens and erasers). ipads - who is going to support the wireless infrastructure at school? taxpayers. And how exactly wireless computers will add value to education? It all comes down to bragging rights of parents and / or school management.
      ForeverSPb
      • Oddly enough

        People said the same about textbooks. Students should make their own notes, if there's a book with it all in they won't engage/learn etc.

        Who knows if tablets will get traction, but it's a cop out to just nay say them from the start. And this from me who'd rather bite a kangaroo than have a mobile.
        ego.sum.stig
      • Combine this

        With the new iBooks initiative in schools this is an excellent idea for schools - a low cost iPad to display the new multimedia iBook textbooks. Schools that already supply laptops to their students already have the support infrastructure in place - the schools that do not have a template for such an infrastructure.
        athynz
      • Infrastructure

        When all of the technology fails, and it will, there will not be a paper version to take its place. What then? Send the kids home? This has way too many flaws.
        davelca
      • And from the look of things

        @ego.sum.stig@
        ... there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that the naysayers were right. Every developed cuontry in the world is struggling with poor student stats.

        I'm not against moving forward with technology, but we didn't even get laptops out to every student and you can pick up one of those for less than 200 $/quid/whatever. Along comes Apple-mania and suddenly every student MUST have an iPad or they will get left behind. Give me a break - an iPad isn't even a proper computer and will certainly teach you nothing about computing.

        If its just for taking notes, then I'm afraid poor students with pen and paper will have the advantage.
        12312332123
      • davelca - "When all this technology fails.."

        davelca: "When all of the technology fails, and it will, there will not be a paper version to take its place. What then?"

        How on earth will "all this technology fail"? Do you foresee a Neutron-bombing or EMPing of North America and Europe for some reason? If so, why?

        "When all of the technology fails, and it will.."

        Why will it fail? Also, if all tablet and WiFi technology is doomed to "fail" then I assume desktop PCs and data centres will go the same way, and we'll be plunged back into the world of forty years ago.

        If this happens, tablets in classrooms will be the least of our worries!
        StandardPerson
      • Traxxion: "an iPad isn't even a proper computer"

        Traxxion: "..an iPad isn't even a proper computer and will certainly teach you nothing about computing."

        It looks like a "proper computer" to me. What, precisely, is missing?

        If your complaint concerns the inability to write iOS Objectice-C code on iPads, I'd suggest that these are poor languages for school-aged kids to be learning computer languages.

        However, iOS on iPhones and iPads will let you write and run code written in C++, Pascal, Perl, Java, Scheme and Lua, not to mention create and run finite state machines.

        The only limitations with these languages is that the I/O must be textual, as with a UNIX commands, rather than graphical, but generations of UNIX-taught students have had no trouble making the textual-to-graphical transition.

        With the possible exception of C++, these are the sorts of languages that high school students should be exposed to, in a course about computer programming.

        It's not doing students any favour to teach them proprietary languages that are (largely) tied to a particular IDE (e.g. .NET languages on VisualStudio). To do this would be to teach students about an ephemeral *technology* (as opposed to computer *science*) that hides the vast majority of the code. Just create a TextBox in VS and then look at all the code that's automatically generated by the IDE for you and then hidden! That's not teaching you anything about computer science, unless you already understand the VS language you're using and the design patterns that Microsoft has chose for VS.
        StandardPerson
      • @StandardPerson - missing?

        Aside from processing power, memory and a screen you can work on comfortably (please do not bring iPhone into this conversation again, lets stick to iPad shall we?), I would also add to the list decent software. Apps in the Apple tradition are not decent software just so you know.
        12312332123
    • Terrible idea for schools

      No school should buy any etextbooks that aren't in an open standard format that has readers available on all platforms and aren't available for purchase from multiple competing sources. Then these etextbooks will offer the exact same functionality on $99 Kindle Fires and $99 W8 tablets and $99 android tablets.
      Johnny Vegas
      • eTextBooks vs Dead Tree Textbooks...

        If you think eTextBooks have to be in an open source format, then shouldn't regular dead tree textbooks also be available in an open source format, say through Project Gutenburg... But all those pesky book publishers have to stay in business. Oh darn!
        z2217
      • No school should buy .. etextbooks that aren't .. open standard

        Yet we've seen thousands of posts at ZDnet saying that until iPads & Macs offer MS Office - rather than iWork with not quite perfect MS Office compatibility - they have no place in the workplace or even universities.

        When the world at large is required to accept documents in some open format (PDF?) then I'll start worrying about the format used by eBooks in schools.
        StandardPerson
    • I'm sure...

      It'll be just as good as those useless imacs and other computers that cost 3x as much for the school as comparable windows boxes and taught children absolutely nothing useful for their professional lives.
      Tea.Rollins
  • My enterprise is rapidly deploying them

    Certainly all the executives and the sales people now have them.
    HollywoodDog
    • ipads are becoming a part of a dress code

      It seems to me that there is little reason for an employee to use ipads at work unless they go to the customer's site. Then they wear a business suit, a tie, an expensive watch and show off an ipad as part of an overall business image.
      ForeverSPb
      • Sales uses them to demo our products

        We've got demo versions of several of our products on the iPad, and also we have images of other products and services as photos they can scroll through.

        Business suits, by the way, are expected in our industry.

        The execs use them the way they used to use laptops.
        HollywoodDog
    • StoryDesk

      Would love tot alk about your pilot program. Sounds really cool, and ties into what we are doing at www.storydesk.com
      mgroy
  • I disagree

    Our sales reps have been using ipads since the original ipad came out and the biggest problem we have is managing the devices. Buying app in bulk, pushing app to devices remotely, an easier method to move files to and from the ipad. That's what our entreprise want, not 200$ rebate on the device.
    Jean-Pierre-
    • Seconded

      There needs to be a central administrative structure for this to work. We can't have our client contacts going out to the App Store developers now can we.
      happyharry_z
      • Using Apple's Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution?

        @Jean-Pierre, happyharry_z,
        I think you both will find the answers you looking for in the following document images.apple.com/iphone/business/docs/iOS_Business.pdf.

        Page 17 details most of your concerns
        "Managed apps.
        An MDM server can manage third-party apps from the App Store, as well as enterprise in-house applications. Designating an app as managed enables the server to specify whether the app and its data can be removed from the device by the MDM server. Additionally, the server can prevent managed app data from being backed up to iTunes and iCloud.

        This allows IT to manage apps that may contain sensitive business
        information with more control than apps downloaded directly by the user.
        In order to install a managed app, the MDM server sends an installation command to the device. Managed apps require a user???s acceptance before they are installed. For more information about managed apps, view the Mobile Device Management Overview at www.apple.com/business/mdm."
        YaBaby