But given what we’ve seen from the Android side of the tablet market over the past year, and where Apple may face its toughest competition, we do believe there are some relatively easy adjustments Apple should make in the iPad that would make it an even easier sell for businesses.
Why should Apple focus on improving its platform for business now? For starters, the Android platform has been continuously becoming more business-friendly with PC companies like Samsung, Toshiba and Lenovo each throwing tons of R&D and new hardware features into the market. Microsoft will also begin targeting businesses with forthcoming Windows 8 tablets -- seducing enterprises with desktop application-compatibility.
As we noted, the iPad platform still maintains leadership. But let’s hope that its R&D folks can focus on three, straightforward flourishes that would boost iPad for business:
1. Biometric Security
Apple already provides password-protection and a support for a number of neat encryption apps. But fingerprint- , facial recognition- or retinal-scan features would make iPad an undeniable leader in mobile security. Apple could even call it the “iPad-Secure” version and charge an extra hundred bucks.
2. A metallic-silver finish to match MacBooks
Black and white options for the iPad are just so…black and white. By offering a metallic silver (with the Apple logo) as a design, Apple would provide a consistency to its lineup that makes sense and would be an instant hit. Look-and-feel consistency has been a reason why ThinkPads have traditionally done well in the corporate environment. That could help with Apple’s client devices as well.
3. Siri and business-ready voice recognition
Siri isn’t perfect (it’s actually, technically, still in beta.) But tablets are designed for mobility every bit as much as smart phones, and so iPads should be able to provide the same benefit of the Siri app as iPhones for those on the go or in untethered jobs. In particular, healthcare and legal vertical markets, where voice recognition and transcription are big deals, could see some ready benefits.
It’s now somewhat of a parlor game to try and predict when Apple will launch its next iPad and, when it does, what it will look like. But in the event the R&D folks in Cupertino are still at it, they now have our wish list. It’s not lengthy, but these features would help keep daylight between iPad and Android tablets.
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