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Apple iPad will fail in the enterprise: Dell

Closed view, high price and complexity of iPad unappealing to CIOs, Dell claims

Despite the iPad's long lead in the enterprise market, Apple's tablet PC performer will not last long according to an increasingly bullish Dell.

Speaking to CIO Australia in Sydney, Dell’s global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organisations, Andy Lark, said while the first iPad had achieved one million sales just 28 days after the device first became available in the US and precipitated the explosion in tablet PCs, it would ultimately fail in the enterprise.

“I couldn’t be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm but longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary,” Lark said. “[Apple has] done a really nice job, they’ve got a great product, but the challenge they’ve got is that already Android is outpacing them.

“Apple is great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island. It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex.”

While Apple had entered the businesses as a consumer device, Lark claimed Dell had taken an enterprise approach toward tablet PCs, which would ultimately give the company, which has a major stake in Microsoft Windows and the desktop PC market, an edge.

“We’ve taken a very considered approach to tablets, given that the vast majority of our business isn’t in the consumer space,” he said. “[A company] like Samsung has to aggressively go after their business, but we’ve got a far more diversified footprint than some of these players.”

The cost of Apple products was another deterrent to iPad deployments, with Lark claiming that a the economics on a fully kitted iPad did not add up.

“An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1500 or $1600; that’s double of what you’re paying," he claimed. "That’s not feasible.”

Despite the company's history with Microsoft, it had embraced both Windows Phone 7 and Android operating systems offerings as the market was increasingly moving away from Apple's iOS4 offering.

“…Our strategy is multi-OS," Lark said. "We will do Windows 7 coupled with Android Honeycomb, and we’re really excited. We think that giving people that choice is very important.”

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

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