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Do Cisco's Cius and HP's WebOS tablets stand a chance against the iPad?

ciscocius.jpgIn light of the phenomenal success of the iPad, do "enterprise tablets" from Cisco and HP even remotely stand a chance? Particularly when: 1) Apple is targeting enterprises now; and 2) all signs are that Apple will soon be releasing a version 2 of the iPad with even more capabilities. Yesterday Greg Ferro took this question on in a post comparing the Cisco Cius versus HP WebOS tablets versus the iPad.

His post is definitely worth a read for his comparisons... I'll zoom in on what was for me the key point (my emphasis added at the end):

The problem with this lovely story is the Apple iPad. No doubt Cisco and HP have been working on their tablet stories for the last two or three years. I also have no doubt that the unexpected success of the iPad selling twenty or thirty million units in the first year has seriously upset their plans. But the thing really bothering them would be rise of the articles in the press about the iPad moving into the enterprise. Cisco and HP think that they own the enterprise, and it’s their right to make money out it. The idea that Apple can crossover a device from the consumer marketplace is going to kink them up. Users do NOT WANT to get a Cisco CIUS or HP Palm tablet, they want an Apple iPad.

And, I think, users will simply bring in their own iPads and want them to run on the corporate network. Particularly when the cost of some of the "enterprise tablets" is higher than that of the iPad.

It's just an ongoing part of the "consumerization of enterprise IT". I've long said "consumer experiences drive enterprise expectations" and that is true in the tablet space, too, I believe.

There is a part of me that worries about a monoculture and hopes that for competition/innovation the tablets from Cisco and HP can thrive. But I wouldn't count on it... I really like my iPad! ;-)

What do you think? Will the "enterprise tablets" succeed? Or perhaps succeed only in some niches? Or will corporate users want to use their iPad or some of the impending Android tablets?

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