Wednesday, April 6, 2011

iOS at Sea

On March 29, 2011, CIO Australia published an interview with Andy Lark, Dell's global head of marketing for large enterprises. In the interview, Lark made a lot of "quotable" statements, among them:
“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.”
Let's forget for a moment that $1500 seems a little high, even for a tricked-out iPad. The fact is that even $1500 is definitely not too much for enterprises to pay for tablet computers.

What's ironic is that Mr. Lark's statement had already been refuted by an article in the same magazine (CIO) published just days before.

In an article titled "Three Ways Royal Caribbean Has Embraced Mobile, Made Customers Happy", CIO magazine detailed Royal Caribbean's use of iPhones, iPads, and tablet computers to help people on board their cruise ships. I know about iPhones and iPads, but I wondered about the XRiver tablets mentioned in the article.

A quick search on XRiver's site shows that while they do have a stripped-down model for $1500 (8.4" display, 256MB RAM, 64MB flash memory. Yes, 64MB flash memory), a decently-spec'd XRiver tablet will run about $2500.

No wonder Royal Caribbean is looking to further integrate iOS into their mobile strategy. There's no 3G coverage on a ship, and they are currently using devices with almost no flash memory, so they can get by fine with the 16GB WiFi iPad. Compared to what they pay now, that's "five for the price of one". Maybe Dell's marketing head meant to say that the iPad is too cheap to sell to enterprise customers?

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