iPads: the latest in corporate tech symbols

Jul 26, 2011
Devices

Back in the eighties, an exec friend of mine had an IBM PC sitting on his desk at a major insurance company. It was a symbol of being on the cutting edge. In fact, he didn’t have a clue on how to use it. My own boss at the time argued that real execs don’t […]

Back in the eighties, an exec friend of mine had an IBM PC sitting on his desk at a major insurance company. It was a symbol of being on the cutting edge. In fact, he didn’t have a clue on how to use it.

My own boss at the time argued that real execs don’t type. But that has changed as being tech savvy to some degree is important to those climbing the corporate ladder.

As time has moved on, we’ve seen other technologies come and go as status symbols. Remember PDAs? And only a few short years ago BlackBerrys from Research In Motion (RIMM) went to the manager on the way up and on the go.

The new status symbol

Now, Jordan Crook reports in TechCrunch that the new status symbol is the iPad, which is beating out Android tablets for the managers.

He cites Good Technology, which provides tech to half of the Fortune 100 companies, reporting that 27 percent of mobile device activations for its clients are for mobile devices, and 95 percent of them are for iPads.

Considering the domination of Apple’s (AAPL) of the tablet market, this isn’t a huge surprise.

Shane McGlaun said in Slashgear: “Good attributes the big disparity between iPad and Android tablets to the fact that many of the big enterprises have their workers bring their own devices. Most people buy the iPad so there would be more iPads in the enterprise market.”Also, status may play a role.

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Crook said: “(M)y gut tells me this iPad craze has a lot to do with status. Back before the iPhone, businessmen carried around (BlackBerrys) and whether they liked it or not, it was a status symbol. It meant: I am so important that my company bought me this special messaging phone with super secure email. Now, those same (BlackBerrys) are falling into the hands of assistants, while the big guys upstairs carry around iPhones, and to some degree, Android handsets.”

But Android will be putting up a fight for those corporate hearts and minds.

McGlaun said: “I don’t think any of us are surprised in the least by the fact that the iPad is stomping the Android tablets in the enterprise realm. The iPad is stomping all tablet comers in every realm right now. Android is mounting a push to compete against the iPad more though and the lower priced tablets expected from Amazon expected before long.”

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Howard Wolinsky

Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago freelance writer specializing in health and tech topics. He covered those beats for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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