With today's unveiling of The New iPad, a couple of thoughts stick out to me as it relates to business customers.
We know that business customers, both small and large, are a key target for iPad. The question with each new device is what improvements will continue to make this new form factor mobile computer even more valuable and useful for business customers?
The New iPad's Retina Display
The first thing that stands out is in the quality of the display. The new iPad, with its industry-leading resolution of 2048×1536, opens up some interesting new doors for software as well as creative professionals.
Not every business or IT customer needs a high resolution display as a part of their day job but there are many who do, particularly in the creative professions. Things like printing, 3D, graphics, imaging, etc.
Given that the new iPad's display resolution is industry leading, it will be interesting to see how customers who require high and true resolution displays integrate this device in new ways.
A device with this revolution has really never existed on a mobile device. Historically, creative professionals who require high resolution displays have been chained to a desk with large monitor. With the new iPad this is no longer the case.
New camera / iSight
Apple also updated the outer camera, named iSight, to a 5MP image sensor along with the ability to capture 1080p HD video.
The iPad has been seen in interesting field trials in areas like insurance and real estate assessment, and even public safety. In many of these implementations these customers were using the camera on the back of the iPad as a part of data collecting or surveying in the field.
Now with the higher resolution camera and HD capture support, those who required a higher level of detail now have one less imaging device to carry with them.
Perhaps one of the most significant parts of the new iPad is the near globally universal support for high speed wireless broadband, including full LTE support.
Using a tablet as a primary computing device is a trend we are seeing across the board with both business and consumers.
One of the biggest advantages to this use case is the integrated high-speed wireless broadband—something that is not integrated with many notebook PCs. This opens the door to even more critical mobile computing.
The New iPad is ushering in this era of ubiquitous connected mobile computing, and I can imagine it will be an extremely valuable feature for many business and consumer customers.
New software for The New iPad
Apple also released new software, mostly around the new and updated iWork suite which again shows their dedication to embracing tablets being used for content creation, not just consumption.
The iLife suite was updated as well, and even added iPhoto as a new application that is perhaps one of the best examples of touch computing to date.
One of the other very interesting features that should not be overlooked is the voice dictation feature set.
It is no secret that the on-board virtual keyboard is sufficient but also sometimes cumbersome. In many situations, often because of how we hold it, typing can feel impossible.
Adding voice dictation to The New iPad will open up more input use cases, especially while mobile or moving around. As an example, imagine scenarios where customers are standing around entering text.
Just watch—this will undoubtedly open the door to a wider range of productive use cases.
Apple’s game to lose?
After attending the event today and seeing all the demos and announcements, it’s clear that Apple is absolutely dictating the tone of innovation in the consumer computing industry in general and tablets specifically.
I anticipate Apple to hold their dominant position and the new iPad to be integrated into business use in even more ways than we ever could have imagined.