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iPad - The Paradigm Shift for BusinessBack
Monday 02 April 2012 at 2:32 PM
Posted by: AdministratorViews: 1888
Category: Tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab etc)
I was fortunate enough to be in the US on my honeymoon in April of 2010. I witnessed first hand the mad rush in the US for the very first iPad. It was manic to say the least. Was it looking to be a flop at that stage? Definitely not.
As we at RANDEM were already developing applications for the iPhone, naturally I was keen to get my hands on the iPad so we could get a head start on understanding the new technology. I had to find an Apple store with one in stock. Without boring you with the details, let's just say it took a number of visits to countless Apple Stores in various states before I managed to find one - albeit on my very last day in the US! It goes without saying that my better half wasnt too impressed we spent most of our honeymoon chasing iPads!
What I observed across my travels was significant consumer excitement and I dare say madness for a product that was the first of its kind in a completely new product space. Sure, the 'concept' of the tablet isnt a new one, and the iPad wasnt so significantly radically different to products already available (and had been for some time) on the market, but it WAS different, different in the way only Apple can make something different.
Was it only die-hard Apple fans wanting the iPad? I'd say many were but I did see many consumers lining up in stores keen to interact with the technology. It looked cool, it was cool in its functionality and it promised oh so much. My issue though was what was it promising consumers exactly? That was my major gripe with it. Was it new technology for the sake of it, or did it offer a radically new experience for consumers - I was yet to be convinced either way. The lack of a camera, the lack of a microphone and the restrictions of iTunes all made me question the concept of the iPad - that's until I got to the front of the queue and touched my very first iPad.
Don't jump to conclusions though. I wasn't sold of the product just yet. Namely, I still wasn't convinced how consumers would be radically advantaged by purchasing an iPad 1, I was however blown away with the possibilities it offered businesses. The mind was boggling with ideas. I could just see it, standing there in Los Angeles, 3 hours from my flight back home thinking of all its possible uses like:
- Imagine restaurants handing you an iPad as a menu and diners ordering directly through it.
- Imagine businesses using it as a POS system
- Imagine a retail assistant checking stock in real time as they float around their store serving and helping customers.
- Imagine being at an event and being check-in via an iPad.
- Imagine a sales consultant using it on a sales visit, checking info quickly and updating information without the nuisance and distraction of starting up a laptop.
SO MANY POSSIBILITIES.
Fast forward 24 hours, we were back in Australia and holding one of a handful of iPads in the country (the iPad was at least 3 months away from launching in Australia at that stage) and we were ready to start developing. After noticing the iPad did not come with a default calculator, we developed and launched our very first app for the iPad - LogiCalc Scientific Calculator. Fast forward two years and it's no doubt you yourself have seen many of the above possibilities now a reality.
Progressive businesses have really taken advantage of the technology and embraced it in their day to day operations. Today at RANDEM we are currently developing a number of B2B and B2C apps for our own clients which continue to change the way they do business. Some of these apps are available on the app store, many are not. That's another thing that many businesses aren't aware of, yes you can have an app for your business and across multiple iPads that are hidden from the app store.
So what does the future hold? Well, as more and more brands enter the tablet space and as tablet functionality and features get better and better it's clear the paradigm shift of the past few years will not abate but continue to evolve. Sure, consumers love their iPads and are the biggest market for tablets, but there's no doubt that businesses will continue to harness the technology and incorporate tablets in their day to day operations.
Tablets will inevitably become more and more a part of our lives from everything to do from educating ourselves, entertaining ourselves, feeding ourselves and running our businesses. It's already happening, it's up to us to leverage off the possibilities and continue to be creative with it.