The iPad has been a huge hit for Apple, with consumers and enterprise alike scrabbling to buy them as fast as Apple can make them. But one analyst believes that the days of the supremacy of the iPad could be challenged by the latest generation of enterprise tablets from HP, Dell and Lenovo.
According to Apple's CEO Tim Cook, 94 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and 70 percent Global 500 companies are testing or deploying iPads.
The claim is made by Moor Insights & Strategy's president and principal analyst Patrick Moorhead in an independent report titled "The latest extreme low power, Windows tablets now ready for the enterprise". The report examines three Windows-powered tablets—the Dell Latitude 10, the HP ElitePad 900, and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2—and compares the OEM supported enterprise features present on these tablets to Apple's iPad 4. The results show that the iPad is worryingly weak when compared to the competition.
"The new breed of enterprise tablets provides the same comprehensive PC enterprise features deployed and already in use by enterprises," the report explains. "While the iPad provides many new features, enterprise must evaluate, deploy, train IT and purchase new tools. Domain Join and Active Directory are not supported on the iPad."
Moorhead lists a number of advantages that Windows-powered tablets have over the iPad, at the top of which is backward compatibility. The Windows-powered hardware listed is compatible with over a million peripherals, while the selection of add-ons on offer for the iPad is limited.
Another factor working against the iPad is price. Both the Latitude 10 and the ThinkPad Tablet 2 come in cheaper than a 64GB Wi-Fi-only iPad 4.
"Enterprises will not pay more to acquire the new breed of Windows tablets," explains Moorhead, "and when factoring in additional new management tools, iPads cost more."
So what should enterprises do? The report recommends that enterprises that are piloting or already deploying iPads to take a look at the latest enterprise tablet offerings from HP, Dell and Lenovo, and incorporate those new options into their decision-making process.