Enterprise Tablets and Their Imminent Doom
Cisco Cius' quiet exit from the market has got us questioning about the survival of enterprise tablets.
Ershad K May 29th 2012
Companies should direct their focus towards enterprise app solutions.

Enterprise tablets seem to be heading towards their doom even before one could say ‘enter’.

Let me clarify one thing before I go ahead with my insights, enterprise tablet is totally different from tablet adoption in the enterprise, which is a subset of BYOD.

Cisco’s Android-based Cius’ recent exit from the enterprise tablet arena is a direct result of the large number of companies embracing the bring-your-own device (BYOD) model. The tablet existed only nine months in the market.

While many seem to believe this may be the year of enterprise tablets, I tend to agree with Cisco’s survey which clearly indicates that BYOD as a trend gets priority over exclusive enterprise tablet hardware adoption. This is accentuated by the recent survey which revealed that Apple's iPad accounted for 97.3% of enterprise tablet activations in the first quarter of 2012.  Please take note of the fact that the iPad is primarily a consumer tablet.

Enterprise tablet is totally different from tablet adoption in the enterprise, which is a subset of BYOD.

As a result, tablets in the enterprise will be on high owing to BYOD but exclusive enterprise tablets manufactured by OEM’s may soon be a thing of the past, a very small one I must say.

Let us take a look at some of the other enterprise tablets by major manufacturers:

  •  Avaya Flare – This one is primarily a slick video conferencing device and its capabilities as a tablet are debatable
  •  Blackberry Playbook (RIM) – It had a lukewarm response initially and gathered steam post a huge price cut. RIM suffered losses.
  •  Motorola ET1 – This rugged Android tablet was released last year. Yes, Android. End of discussion.

Will Windows 8 and the OS’ affinity for touchscreen devices change the game? Maybe. Maybe, not.

The problem with Microsoft’s latest OS lies in the adoption rate. It may be a while before a large-scale transition to Windows 8 by enterprises happens. For proper functioning and utilisation of the OS, the tablets would require adequate syncing with office desktops. On the other hand, it is heartening to read about Dell’s intention of releasing Windows 8 enterprise tablets along with the consumer ones.  

Companies should direct their focus towards enterprise app solutions, enhanced security features, syncing with the cloud and enterprise software for personal tablets. The crux should be on a great BYOD solution and not cramming enterprise tablets down employees’ throats.