Dell hasn’t had anything resembling success in the tablet market with either businesses or consumers, but that isn’t stopping the company from deriding the iPad and its success.
According to Dell Australia’s managing director Joe Kreme, users only buy iPads because they’re “shiny” and troubleshooting any issue with an iPad or iOS could take up to four days. As a result of these so-called facts, Kreme said that the tablet race hasn’t even started yet.
Kreme isn’t the first Dell executive to trash the iPad. The company’s Chief Commercial Officer Steve Felice used the new iPad launch in March as an platform to claim that Apple’s tablets shouldn’t be considered business-worthy. His statements were somewhat closer to reality than Kreme’s. It’s almost hard to take Kreme’s statements seriously because they go so far beyond hyperbole that they sound delusional. His remarks about the iPad were made at a media and analyst briefing in Sydney.
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.
The remarks show that Kreme hasn’t actually done research on the demographics of iPads in business or the tools and processes needed to support them. The idea that IT can’t afford to support them is ludicrous. The devices often work so well when brought into the office that some IT departments don’t even know that they’re being used. Even management costs can be minimized when choosing a mobile management solution.
As we explored in our Mobile Management Month series, there are a range of options that offer varying feature sets and price points including management solutions that are completely free, like Centrify Express for Mobile and Apple’s own management tools.
Ironically, several mobile management suites can also manage desktop systems as well (both Macs and PCs running Windows or Linux), which directly positions them as competitors to Dell’s KACE enterprise management appliance.
As far as support in business environments, the process can pretty streamlined. Barring hardware failures, configuration and app issues can often be resolved with relative ease and many iOS users are capable of self-supporting when it comes to such issues. It’s worth mentioning here that troubleshooting a problem on a Dell notebook isn’t exactly a walk in the park and that often requires help desk support and/or a visit from an IT department’s desktop support team.
Kreme doesn’t mention the failure of Dell’s Android-based 5’ and 7’ Streak tablets to gain marketshare or that Dell felt forced to discontinue its netbook offerings after the iPad eroded demand for them. Now Dell, like other companies, is talking up Windows 8 tablets as the next great iPad-killers in business.
While it isn’t clear what impact Windows 8 and Windows RT will have on te business tablet space, the iPad’s sheer inertia and market penetration will make it difficult to compete against – particularly for Windows RT devices that can’t run legacy Windows apps or be managed by traditional PC management tools.
One thing seems certain though – Kreme is sadly mistaken if he thinks that the race for success in the business tablet market hasn’t even started.