Dell exec: iPad is “shiny” but not suitable for business

One of the most divisive points in any discussion on tablets is that which suggests that Apple’s iPad is an outstanding consumption device for content, but that there are better devices out there when it comes to creating content and being productive.

Many point to the iPad’s extensive range of productivity-focused apps, along with countless examples of impressive and extraordinary content being created on the Apple tablet, as demonstrative of its capabilities in that area. Others point to the existence of a vast range of hardware keyboards for the iPad as an example of the device being less than suitable for productivity-focused tasks in its out-of-the-box state. Whichever side of the argument you’ve positioned yourself on, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach a consensus with your opponent.

Comments made yesterday by the managing director of Dell Australia, Joe Kremer, will only serve to fuel the fires of the debate further. At a corporate event last night, the Australian Financial Review reports that Kremer made the following comments while discussing the iPad:

People might be attracted to some of these shiny devices but technology departments can’t afford to support them. If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side, it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don’t think this race has been run yet.

Of course, business and enterprise support for the iPad continues to grow at an enormous rate, and the suggestion that it can take four days to fix a software glitch on the tablet seems a little disingenuous. But hey, an executive said it – so it must be true, right?

Kremer’s comments come as Dell prepares to launch Windows 8 devices later this year, including tablets running Microsoft’s new OS.

Source: Australian Financial Review

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Funny that. I recalled in 1997 another exec postulated that he would shut down what is now the biggest tech company and give the money back to the shareholders

osx86 said,
Funny that. I recalled in 1997 another exec postulated that he would shut down what is now the biggest tech company and give the money back to the shareholders

And just think how much better off people would be economically had he done just that.

I'm not saying it's perfect, I definitely have way more crashes on my iPad than on my Windows 7 PC, but I've yet to encounter anything close to a problem that took 'days to resolve.' Problems like that tend to come from things like crappy Dell hardware

The Ipad saves myself and my sales staff tons of man hours of traditional work day in and day out. I have stated before that its all about learning how to use it for your business. Its a great business tool and changed how we do things.

rippleman said,
The Ipad saves myself and my sales staff tons of man hours of traditional work day in and day out. I have stated before that its all about learning how to use it for your business. Its a great business tool and changed how we do things.

And you'll get a helluva lot more bang for the buck out of upcoming Windows tablets if your sales team does more than just read email off the company website on the road...which isn't what the rest of us are considering a "business tool".

What you are describing is a big smart phone...which is, after all, what the iPad really is.

LaP said,
Strange my company is using iPad without any problem.

But how are they being used? Are people creating presentations with them? Writing long documents? Maybe creating a series of excel spreadsheets? Or are they just viewing the presentations/documents/spreadsheets?

LaP said,
Strange my company is using iPad without any problem.

Then I dont think something productive is happening in your company. ipad is cool but not a productive device

S3P€hR said,

Then I dont think something productive is happening in your company. ipad is cool but not a productive device

Yet. Its damn close though. Sadly unless they are all jailbroken - you are 'stuck' with what Apple wants you to run.

Intrinsica said,

But how are they being used? Are people creating presentations with them? Writing long documents? Maybe creating a series of excel spreadsheets? Or are they just viewing the presentations/documents/spreadsheets?

I don't know i'm a dev i use our iPads to test our mobile websites and apps only. But people in the support and network dept are using them for productivity things. People in support also have iPhone.

Doesn't look like a problem right now.

S3P€hR said,

Then I dont think something productive is happening in your company. ipad is cool but not a productive device

Says who? You? I must live in a different Universe because the one I'm in, I see it used as a productive device.

I would be more inclined to get a "more functional" Dell tablet with Windows 8 over an iPad, thats for sure.

este said,
I would be more inclined to get a "more functional" Dell tablet with Windows 8 over an iPad, thats for sure.

And I'd like a unicorn but we both know that isn't going to happen

I agree, but for different reason. Apple does not have the enterprise controls built in to the ipad that allow it to be a managed device to allow it to be brought to work when used by sensitive area's of a business.

As a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it works, but if you want it to be more then surf web / non-secure e-mail, Apple still has to do some work.

Andriod Tablets are in a similar situation, I personally don't think enterprise controls have martured enough. Microsoft missed the boat completely with the Windows 8 Arm Tablets not being able to use group policy.

RIM is the only one that had decent managed device ability but there circling the drain being killed in the consumer market.

its not just ipad. all tablets are useless for productivity. Sure tablets can fit in some niche areas but for the majority of manufacturing operations they are a waste of time.

the420kid said,
its not just ipad. all tablets are useless for productivity. Sure tablets can fit in some niche areas but for the majority of manufacturing operations they are a waste of time.

It depends what you mean as productivity. For office work etc, tablets are fine if docked or connected to a keyboard.

I heartily disagree. While it may be more difficult to create content on an iPad, at the hospital I work at the doctors love them for their work. As a network admin I also find the thing handy as hell for remoting into thing and performing network tasks. I'm not going to write a 4 page paper with the thing but for most normal tasks its much easier than carrying a laptop around and lasts ALL DAY without a recharge.

It depends what some people consider "business use". With some, simple document creation, email collaboration, and reading material is all they need. For others, there are dedicated third party applications for their organization, or Remote Desktop Apps, or a myriad of other scenarios where the iPad lacks any sort of productivity. But of course, you don't see all of that in those fancy, flashy ads

I get this all the freakin time and so do many other in the industry.
Boss-man sees a cool lookin' iPad commerical and asks "Hey, IT guy, I want this" and I have to explain that he won't have access the email archiving solution we have or that the Remote Apps are worthless on an iPad, or that the electronic medical records system is also worthless on the thing. This is without considering how much easier it is for simply create documents with a keyboard, mouse, and desk.

Unless you're in it for "cool factor" or you don't have much to do anyway:
Not. Suitable. For. Business.

Edited by Bryan R., Jun 6 2012, 12:16pm :

I work for a bank, and all the top exec's including a few middle management ppl use iPads. IT included.

Yes there are a few cons using an iPad, but that doesnt entirely mean that it cant be used for business.. I use it to give presentations all the time. Works like a charm!

DELL and the others are all waiting and hoping that Windows 8 will save the day. Android is no better than iOS at the task and iPad sell alot more anyway.

They better pray that Win8 will be a success...

TruckWEB said,
DELL and the others are all waiting and hoping that Windows 8 will save the day. Android is no better than iOS at the task and iPad sell alot more anyway.
They better pray that Win8 will be a success...

It's very risky to bet whole companies on the success of one Microsoft product. I'm not saying it won't be successful (I don't know at this point), I just think Asus', Samsung, and other's approach is better. Hedge your bets by going for Android (and Tizen) as well. That way if Windows 8 fails, your whole company doesn't go down the drain.

As far as Dell, HP, and other dinosaurs who live and breath only Windows and Microsoft go, I think their days are coming to an end. Their profit margins are getting squeezed tighter and tighter, and better players are taking over their traditional strongholds. It's a bleak future indeed for them.

Since Dell isn't suitable for anything, not for workstations, not for laptops and definitely not for servers - I wonder what they are suitable for.

MiukuMac said,
Since Dell isn't suitable for anything, not for workstations, not for laptops and definitely not for servers - I wonder what they are suitable for.

No joke. Before I came to my current company, a dell salesman managed to trick the company into buying desktops with 4gb of ram. The kicker? They are all 32bit systems. ><

Pretty much every talk show, news report, all that kind of stuff with presenters they are sat there with an iPad. I work in ICT education and every meeting/exhibition/seminar/etc.. they are all sat with ipads using them for presentation and such.

I trust the Apple's stuff over anything.. as a DJ, i would never EVER even think about going to a live performance with a Windows device, i'm not saying it would fail.. it would be just too nerve racking incase something went wrong, i'm not saying i know Apple is better either, but i certainly have more faith in their products.

Uplift said,
Pretty much every talk show, news report, all that kind of stuff with presenters they are sat there with an iPad. I work in ICT education and every meeting/exhibition/seminar/etc.. they are all sat with ipads using them for presentation and such.

Their networks were paid a LOT of advertising money for commercials/ads that kept the network/magazine/webpage afloat in exchange for that guaranteed favorable publicity.

They also gave the hosts free units.

This is the real secret behind Apple's success...a HUGE consumer advertising budget with a whole helluva lotta strings attached. Smart business, obviously, but it's a bubble that can't be maintained without a Steve Jobs/PT Barnum salesman on point...

If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side, it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don't think this race has been run yet.

Yeah, if you have one IT guy and he's away for four days...

A lot of businesses and tv networks I've been working with disagree. Same goes for public bodies. And with Microsoft Office for iOS apparently slated for release in November it will only get better.

The problem isn't making something worthy of competing, there are already devices that can compete with Apple. The problem is Apple has such a hold on key markets that everything else, better or not, get's pushed aside. The only thing that Apple can do better than anyone is market their devices to appeal to a mass audience.

ahhell said,
He's a ****ing Dell exec!!!! What did you think he was going to do? (also, he's right)

I was telling the same thing. The (also, he's right) gives you extra brownie powered haterade. Don't have to take everything sarcastically. iPads are not targeted at business that much. Companies adopting iPads for business is different thing.

Sounds more like he is **** scared the iPad is eating into their market at an ever increasing pace. How about instead of constantly bashing Apple, why can't these companies try and make something that is worthy of competing with the likes of the iPad? I know a radical idea...

Xerxes said,
How about instead of constantly bashing Apple, why can't these companies try and make something that is worthy of competing with the likes of the iPad? I know a radical idea...

Apple deserves every last bit of bashing that it ever gets for the years of trying prop itself up by tearing Windows down. If there was ever a company that should be able to take what it has been dishing out for its entire existence, it's Apple. Apple defines Narcissism.

jimmyfal said,

Apple deserves every last bit of bashing that it ever gets for the years of trying prop itself up by tearing Windows down. If there was ever a company that should be able to take what it has been dishing out for its entire existence, it's Apple. Apple defines Narcissism.

Fair comment but..... Apple pulled themselves up from the crap they made to produce great products, Dell seems to be going the other way, so much so we stopped buying desktops from them. I would love Dell to put a bit of effort into their products now and again.

Xerxes said,
Sounds more like he is **** scared the iPad is eating into their market at an ever increasing pace. How about instead of constantly bashing Apple, why can't these companies try and make something that is worthy of competing with the likes of the iPad? I know a radical idea...

They do, almost every tablet on the market is much better than a ****Pad.

Edited by Eric, Jun 6 2012, 7:31pm :

Depicus said,

Fair comment but..... Apple pulled themselves up from the crap they made to produce great products, Dell seems to be going the other way, so much so we stopped buying desktops from them. I would love Dell to put a bit of effort into their products now and again.

I agree with you there, Apple products didn't start to look good to me until about 5 years ago. They have a success now that I cannot argue with. Dell has never done anything to impress me. They charge more money for everything, give tech support that's from India, and is great for business but lousy for consumers. Dell has an opportunity coming up with their super hi-resolution AIO's. If it is priced right I might even start recommending them to my customers, but only if it is sold from the Microsoft Store, where people get 24/7 remote control tech support.

It is truly sad that the PC world has had to wait for Apple to realize that hi resolution screens are brilliant displays, and it will be sadder if they try to price everything at Apple prices.

Depicus said,

Fair comment but..... Apple pulled themselves up from the crap they made to produce great products, Dell seems to be going the other way, so much so we stopped buying desktops from them. I would love Dell to put a bit of effort into their products now and again.

Dell makes high quality screens, but that's about it.

Xerxes said,
Sounds more like he is **** scared the iPad is eating into their market at an ever increasing pace. How about instead of constantly bashing Apple, why can't these companies try and make something that is worthy of competing with the likes of the iPad? I know a radical idea...

Nah. Anyone that has used Exchange and it's addons (like EVault) knows that the iPad is not very useful for business. My company is primarily a Windows shop with some Linux and a few Macs for website testing. I have an iPad at home and a work-issued iPhone 4S that do a good job connecting to Exchange yet they just don't do the job as a replacement for something like a Windows Tablet or Laptop.

Don't get me wrong; The iPad is good for what it does but for things like Citrix and Exchange, it just doesn't cut it as well.

briangw said,

The iPad is good for what it does but for things like Citrix and Exchange, it just doesn't cut it as well.

It doesn't cut it at all. 8)

Minimoose said,

Dell makes high quality screens, but that's about it.


What is a tablet besides a battery-powered display?

I have an iPad and whilst I enjoy using it for surfing the web, reading, watching videos and playing games. When it comes to creating content like video or image editing, writing code or editing documents I just find it cumbersome and annoying. Mouse and Keyboard for me when it comes to that.

Vice said,
I have an iPad and whilst I enjoy using it for surfing the web, reading, watching videos and playing games. When it comes to creating content like video or image editing, writing code or editing documents I just find it cumbersome and annoying. Mouse and Keyboard for me when it comes to that.

Um...that's exactly the point? iPad for consumption, regular PC for creation. iPad and tablets aren't meant for producers of content; just the consumption aspect.

seebaran said,
Um...that's exactly the point? iPad for consumption, regular PC for creation. iPad and tablets aren't meant for producers of content; just the consumption aspect.

Except that doesn't make sense from a business point of view. Why buy two devices (the laptop for production and the iPad for consumption) when you can just buy a laptop that does both things?

Intrinsica said,

Except that doesn't make sense from a business point of view. Why buy two devices (the laptop for production and the iPad for consumption) when you can just buy a laptop that does both things?

Indeed. I have an iPad and it's a toy that runs glorified Flash apps and games. My iPad is really just an iPad touch with a lot of extra batteries and a bigger screen.

While it is fantastic for a long plane flight (or I guess car ride for kiddies in the back) because you can watch video, etc. It's not capable of running any real x86 software, for example.

I look forward to competition in the laptop/notebook and tablet/slate space with W8 on x86. They will cost more but will have vastly superior capabilities.

seebaran said,

Um...that's exactly the point? iPad for consumption, regular PC for creation. iPad and tablets aren't meant for producers of content; just the consumption aspect.


Umm... pretty sure he knows that. He just made a comment as if to agree with what was in the article. Also, you know, just because someone posts something about something and that isn't 100% positive, doesn't make them a "hater".