I've seen a ton of enterprises and schools deploying iPads (well, more than 400 publicly-confirmed deployments - see the list) but these are the first sightings of large deployments of Android tablets and RIM PlayBooks I've seen.
Grandview High School in suburban St. Louis plans to deploy 420 Android tablets next year, enough for every student and teacher.
The school says its technology investment will save on textbooks - it spends about $330 per student a year, said the superintendent.
"They'll still have to use paper to a certain extent, but we won't be buying textbooks," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. "We'll be using free or low-cost online materials. We'll be using current classroom technology, like SMART Boards."
iPads, as is well known, start at $499 for the base model, though there is a small volume discount for buyers like schools. So do Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Motorola Xooms start at $599.
That's apparently too rich for Grandview in these budget crunch times for governmental institutions.
Grandview is allocating just $60,000 to $65,000 for the tablets, which works out to just $150 to $162.50 per tablet.
The school trialed 20 tablets from Haipad, a small "Shanzhai" (knockoff) maker in China. Those tablets cost the school $145 each. In the end, Grandview reportedly purchased Android tablets from Coby, possibly the 7-inch MID7015 which retails for about $140.
While Coby's inexpensive wares are more often found on the shelves of Walgreens or CVS than Best Buy, the MID7015 has garnered surprisingly good reviews on Amazon.com (3.5 out of 5 stars).
Switching to RIM: my parent company SAP is deploying 200 PlayBooks, according to ZDNet's Larry Dignan, joining the 4,000 iPads already deployed at this 53,513-employee firm (about 8%).
This is no surprise: SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann had said as far back as last fall that while SAP is quickly moving away from being a BlackBerry-only shop, it still planned to give employees options to get Android or RIM tablets.
I can't believe that these are the only enterprise or large school deployments of Android or RIM tablets. I think it's a combination of factors: less time on the market, less buzz than iPads (feeds into a vicious cycle - PR reps are less likely to publicize their deployments as a result).
I'll go and ping Samsung, Motorola, RIM to see what they can tell me about large tablet deployments. In the meantime, please share any news of deployments in comments, thanks!