Apple may be receiving bad press over the iOS 4/iPhone 4 glitches, but you wouldn’t know it from the company’s third quarter earnings report. The company raked in $15.7 billion in revenue, with iPhone and iPad sales reaching 8.4 million and 3.27 million units, respectively.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that, given these large numbers, a healthy chunk of that is from companies. Yesterday, during Apple’s quarterly earnings call, COO Tim Cook revealed that a sizable proportion of Fortune 100 companies have adopted iOS 4 devices. About 50 percent are using or exploring the iPad, says Cook, and more than 80 percent have deployed the iPhone.
Once upon a time, the mere thought about companies doling out iPhones would’ve induced chuckles. BlackBerry’s rock-solid reputation, excellent communications features and security made the platform the “It” thing in the enterprise market, but Apple has been courting companies, going out of it way to appeal to this segment of customers with its mobile OS. It even offers a special area of its website for business customers, and more companies are offering Apple mobile choices to their workforces.
Let’s get back to those crazy numbers for a moment: Is it me, or does it seem like companies are taking the iPad faster than the iPhone? It took the smartphone three years to attract businesses, but the iPad has only been around for 3.5 months, and it’s already gained a lot of popularity in the enterprise.
Case in point: Wells Fargo, which looked into the iPhone for two years, took only two weeks to green light the iPad. It nabbed 15 of them to use for demoing products at a conference recently, and it became so enamored with the tablet, it snagged several more. And Wells Fargo’s not the only one; SAP is using the iPad and a custom app that lets managers approve shipments to customers, and Mercedes-Benz has deployed it on the showroom floor.
The luxury car maker has turned the device into a real sales tool. Reps call up info on deals for specific makes/models on the touchscreen and even fill out on-the-spot customer credit applications. Mercedes-Benz is now looking into equipping all of its U.S. dealerships with the devices.
Imagine it: You get to your desk, sit down and respond to an email “ding!” to see a message from tech support, stating that you are now required to use an iPad or iPhone. “Please come down to the IT department and pick it up.” That’s almost too much to imagine. Unlike for birthday cakes in the conference room, that would surely inspire hordes of people to stampede through the corporate hallways, no?
So are you using a company-provided iPhone or iPad? Are you glad to have it as a cool productivity tool in your line of work, or would you rather ditch it and get your own personal device? Weigh in below.