Those applications will drive broader acceptance of tablets in the enterprise. While it’s easy to think that the iPad is a primary business tool when you see applications such as MicroStrategy’s data visualizations tools at work, the fact is that the vast majority of businesses still use PCs running Microsoft Windows as their core computing platforms.
After the introduction of the fifth-generation iPad, the vast majority of businesses will still use PCs and Microsoft Windows. But what will change is that the Apple iPad will penetrate more deeply into the enterprise, and will be used for tasks that currently require a PC.
This is not to suggest that there’s going to be a mass abandonment of PCs in the enterprise—nor will iPads take over every function now performed by PCs. The reality is that in their current incarnations, the PC with a keyboard and a monitor is still vastly superior to a tablet when it comes to content creation. It’s also superior to a tablet when you need a big screen for things like photo editing.
But not everyone creates content all the time and a great deal of work can be done easily and quickly using a tablet. The iPad is by no means the only tablet available to perform such tasks. But it’s the most common, and that means it’s sure to be the target of much application development. So you can expect to see rapid growth in enterprise apps for the iPad when the 64-bit processor arrives.
Meanwhile, some of the new features of the fifth-generation iPad won’t matter much to the enterprise. The new camera will be nicer, but it won’t be the reason enterprises buy iPad. The Retina display on the iPad Mini probably won’t matter much either. And the new iPads won’t have a couple of features they could really use, such as a real USB port or a slot for a memory card.
But when it comes to being a platform for enterprise applications and for data visualization, the iPad promises to have an increased role in the enterprise. The new more capable hardware, coupled with an improved iOS 7, will go a long way to helping developers take advantage of that new powerful hardware. Because of this, the iPad will move from its present role—where it’s at least partly an executive toy—to a much bigger productivity role. People will be able to get real work done with an iPad.
But that doesn’t mean the PC will vanish overnight, because it won’t.