iPad Only Good for Consumption, Except for This

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Doctor and iPad

As I mentioned here last week, Microsoft have made the claim that their still unreleased Surface tablet/PC device is better at creating than the iPad. Essentially they’ve put forward the tired and absurd argument that the iPad is a device made only for consumption, while the Surface will be for real productivity and creating things.

A post today from Philp Elmer-Dewitt at Fortune Tech’s Apple 2.0 site lists 12 data points that a Wall Street analyst (Needham’s Charlie Wolf) highlights as reasons for an extremely bullish prediction for iPad sales last quarter. The vast majority of these data points are excellent examples of the iPad at work and in use as far more than a consumption device. Here are those points, along with some additional comments of mine – my comments are in italics:

  • 12 NFL teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens, have replaced their paper playbooks with iPads  Teams are editing and updating their playbooks continually. Notes and editing are being done on the iPads. The iPad is also being used heavily by teams in the NBA, Major League Baseball, and other sports.
  • A growing number of airlines, including United Airlines, have replaced their paper pilot manuals with iPads. Etihad Airways is using iPads to train aircraft engineers.
  • Other airlines, such as British Airways, are using iPads to manage their passenger lists, while still others such as Singapore Airlines and Quantas are using iPads as passenger entertainment centers
  • Both the Polish Parliament and Dutch Senate have substituted iPads for paper printouts of the documents read by their members. The UK’s parliament is also rolling out iPads, and the President of the United States uses an iPad in his daily briefings sessions.
  • The deployment of 26,000 iPads in the San Diego School District, which likely
    represents the tip of the iceberg. Yale University gives iPads to its medical students. There are great numbers of higher education institutions embracing the iPad

  • One school reported a 10% improvement in the exam scores of students using iPads compared with students using paper books
  • In other schools, iPads are not only replacing textbooks but also personal computers
  • In China, iPads are finding their way into top-tier high schools
  • One quarter of European doctors are reported to already use iPads, a percentage that’s forecast to reach two-thirds in a year. There’s a similar rate of uptake in the US and Half of iPad-owning doctors are using their device at the point of care -  exam room, hospital, and so forth.
  • iPads helped restructure $270 billion of Greek debt in record time
  • The iPad has found its way into zoos to test the intelligence of primates
  • The iPad is undergoing tests in New York taxicabs as a combination entertainment/payment device
  • SAP has deployed over 12,000 iPads running applications written by the company. And SAP are not known for their light, entertainment apps!
  • Level 3 has purchased 1,300 iPads for its sales force, using applications written by Salesforce.com.

As I pointed out in my post last week, the iPad is also being used to create music and great art – and not just by ‘amateurs’ but by renowned traditional artists.

Not too shabby for a pure consumption tablet.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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9 thoughts on “iPad Only Good for Consumption, Except for This

  1. Pingback: Tech 4 Classrooms

  2. Really? Everything that you mentioned in this article is consumption …. You just proved the point.

  3. I thought the same thing as the first comment; these are all consumption.

  4. But none of this actually challenges Microsoft’s claim that Surface will be better than the iPad at productivity tasks.

  5. Until I can sit at my computer and treat my tablet as a second monitor, dragging photoshop files back and forth between screens, and seamlessly accessing files off my hard drive . . . I will consider my iPad just an awesome consumption device.

  6. I use my iPad a lot, but mainly for reading. I need a real workable office suit with a full blown integration with something like Dropbox. I tried all the iPad office suits but none is really workable. So until then, I believe Microsoft is right

  7. I am a huge ipad fan.. but yeah.. it is only for consumption.. if you think otherwise.. you haven*t tried 100 of “productivity apps” like me… i was everything.. but not productive..lol

  8. Yes It’s true that iPad is for consumption only… But tell me if a tablet is seen as a full on productive or a creative device then what are computers for.. remember tablet PCs of old.. windows is doing the same thing in a new package.. which.might be gr8 but without the kind of hardware modern day computers have can u ever expect the same from a tablet.. if it actually can then Microsoft is going to redefine PC in a big way which currently seems unlikely.. if I need a full fledged computer with all the features.. I would probably buy a computer and not a fancy touchscreen tablet to do so.. atleast for now