The iPad Goes Corporate (and Beyond?)

17 10 2010

An article published yesterday by the Wall Street Journal detailed AT&T’s announcement to market iPads directly to businesses,


By condensing corporate jargon usually reserved for spreadsheets and portfolios into apps, the iPad proves useful as a portable index of everyday business materials.


in order to meet the increasing demand for wireless tablet technologies in the corporate sphere. The iPads will be sold with a discounted wireless data plan (for models with 3G connectivity), similar to bulk corporate sales of BlackBerrys or iPhones.

While Apple is the first company to directly market a tablet as a corporate productivity tool, other makers are not far behind: competitive tablet announcements have come in the form of RIM’s (maker of the BlackBerry) Playbook, and Samsung’s Android-run Galaxy Tab, which will also be sold by AT&T.

AT&T formed a unit this past May to develop productivity apps for office workers, designed to help with functions such as, “access sales and marketing information, or place orders from their mobile devices.”

Sure, productivity tools have been handed out to corporate cubicle-dwellers since the heyday of beepers and fax machines. The iPad though, as Steve Jobs called it, is a “magical and revolutionary device,” especially in the workplace. The elimination of paperwork formalities, the endless searches for that one post-it with an important phone number, all of it condensed into a single tool with the brainpower of a small computer and the size of a legal pad.

This functionality can be taken so much farther than your normal office environment; as a student, I believe the iPad can even better serve the needs of the collegiate industry. Universities in Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have already launched initiatives to empower students and teachers with iPads, a trend that will likely grow in coming semesters.

The iPad integrates just about everything a 21st century college student needs: email access, PDF readability, note taking, Internet browsing, video and photo playback, and most importantly, eBook capability. Should textbook publishers peddle their wares in


Volumes worth of reading are contained in the iPad's hard drive, and presented with the capability of highlighting, bookmarking, and copy/paste.


the iPad’s online bookstore, students will no longer be required to stuff their bags and backpacks with heavy books containing only a few pages of relevant information; instead, everything is neatly and seamlessly integrated into a clean and user-friendly self-management tool that every student can simply carry to class and back.

While the economy still struggles to pull itself from the gutter, the ideal scenario of colleges giving every student an iPad is, as of right now, a pipe dream. But with the pioneering programs from colleges like Seton Hill (PA) and George Fox (OR), communication among progressive college administrations may bring iPads to future students, while digital media like podcasts, PDFs, and PowerPoint presentations become increasingly intertwined with the collegiate learning experience.

I’ll play myself out with a video of an awkward mathemagician teaching you to use an iPad e-textbook and PDF reader:

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