Apple making unlikely enterprise bedfellows to bolster sagging iPad sales

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2015
A report on Wednesday fleshed out Apple's plan to take a bigger piece of the business workplace technology pie by leveraging its mobile iPad platform, a strategy that entails opening up operations to smaller firms.




According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of Apple's iPad in business push, dubbed the mobility partner program (MPP), the company is working with more than 40 companies to extend iPad's reach in a lucrative business-app marketplace, reports The Wall Street Journal. These newfound small business partnerships have resulted in a cooperative dynamic that flies in the face of Apple's usual operating procedures.

As an example, Apple is inviting staff from smaller businesses like accounting firm Xero Ltd. to train internal business specialists. The company also gave its partners the opportunity to take part in a sales conference in March that is normally closed to non-Apple employees. At the event, Apple combed over third-party apps workshop-style, offering business app makers detailed suggestions about how best to tweak their software.

In addition, Apple is pushing partner developers to design interoperable apps in hopes of creating a more cohesive ecosystem based around iPad.

For Apple, partnering with smaller firms is opening doors to a fresh customer base. For example, one partner was able to put Apple in contact with an iPad business customer who had never before been contacted by the company, the report said. In another case, a small business owner who visited an Apple Store about buying a Mac to run her skin care brand was invited to a workshop where third-party companies pitched their iPad-based solutions to a small gathering of retailers.

Apple declined to comment on the matter, saying only that its partners "are developing iOS solutions across industries that will empower employees and usher in a new era of productivity."

Sources said Apple is planning to market app bundles targeting specific industries and business sectors like retail and accounting. Other areas of interest include telecommunications, as the report said Apple is thinking about throwing in with mobile telcos like AT&T and Verizon to push these app bundles, as well as iPad hardware, to businesses.

The initiative appears to be unrelated to Apple's mobile enterprise solutions partnership with IBM, which was announced last July. That undertaking, called "MobileFirst for iOS," has IBM taking care of iPad hardware leases, device management, security, analytics, mobile integration and on-site repairs. Apple lends a hand with app development and offers a special class of AppleCare.

After years of strong sales, Apple's iPad is slowly losing its luster as phablets and cost-effective thin-and-light laptops encroach on tablet territory. During its last fiscal quarter ending in June, Apple continued to see a decline in iPad demand with 10.9 million unit sales, down 18 percent from the same time last year. The company hopes to reinvigorate interest in the segment with new iPad-specific iOS 9 features such as multitasking, while rumors claim a 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" model with stylus is in the offing for business customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 987member
    I think Apple needs to make the iPad better value for money software-wise. It needs more creation features, maybe haptic feedback to improve its keyboard. It's great as a consumption device, but iOS (on iPad) is frustrating when trying to do any real work imo.
  • Reply 2 of 68
    elijahg wrote: »
    I think Apple needs to make the iPad better value for money software-wise. It needs more creation features, maybe haptic feedback to improve its keyboard. It's great as a consumption device, but iOS (on iPad) is frustrating when trying to do any real work imo.
    I've never used an iPad but I imagine that hundreds of companies all over the world (plus IBM) would disagree with your assessment.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    elijahg wrote: »
    I think Apple needs to make the iPad better value for money software-wise. It needs more creation features, maybe haptic feedback to improve its keyboard. It's great as a consumption device, but iOS (on iPad) is frustrating when trying to do any real work imo.

    Wow, you should really let Apple know yours thoughts. If you did, they might decide to do stuff like side by side windows, having the keyboard double as a touchpad, etc.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    cashxxcashxx Posts: 105member
    I still think they are a pain to use and support. Use in the meaning of getting data on and off of them. I think you should be able to plug in the device to a computer and have it mount like a USB drive and when you open it up it shows a directory like your OS X Home folder with Pictures, Contacts, Documents, Photos, Music, etc.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    Ah yes, the "iPad is a toy" meme. "Do real work" is the dog whistle for that one.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    Also: "It needs a real file system" is another dog whistle for that. Look, if you want a PC shoveled into a tablet, Windows has you covered.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post



    I think Apple needs to make the iPad better value for money software-wise. It needs more creation features, maybe haptic feedback to improve its keyboard. It's great as a consumption device, but iOS (on iPad) is frustrating when trying to do any real work imo.



    one person's opinion

     

    here is another one: i have a macair, Mac Pro and iPad. more than once i have left a laptop home for the week running solely on the iPad without frustratingly not getting any real work done. it is not the heavy workhorse that a Pro is, but it is more than capable of getting real work done.

     

    do yourself a disfavour and get a surface.

  • Reply 8 of 68
    The real problem is Apple doesn't have a visionary anymore, or if they do they're not listening to them. They honestly don't know what to do with the iPad.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Ah yes, the "iPad is a toy" meme. "Do real work" is the dog whistle for that one.

    No the new meme is Apple is making iOS to complicated and oh how much better and simpler it was under Jobs. Case in point all the fretting over force touch. We don't even know for sure if we're getting it, Apple has t demoed their implementation of it yet already people are assuming it's going to be confusing, not necessary, etc.

    One minute iOS is a toy only good for consumption the next it's becoming too complicated and confusing. :no:
  • Reply 10 of 68
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    The real problem is Apple doesn't have a visionary anymore, or if they do they're not listening to them. They honestly don't know what to do with the iPad.

    What was Steve's vision for iPad anyway? It's completely unfair to blame the current leadership when Jobs clearly didn't have some grand vision for iPad either. At least the current leadership is trying to make iPad useful for more than watching videos and surfing Safari.
  • Reply 11 of 68
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    iOS being too complicated...I don't know. Under jobs Apple's goal was to introduce a new idea to customers who didn't have tablets / phones yet. The user matured so the operating system did. They couldn't stay behind Android which was focusing features. Features create friction with ease of use. If apple didn't change iOS android would become the operating system for power users and iOS for... Simple minded people?

    Yes Apple did make some mistakes, unneccesrily giving up usability. For example by not making buttons look like buttons, instead opting for regular blue text.

    Anyway let's face it... iPads are best for consuming media, not media creation. Why should you trade in your device doing this perfectly and quickly for a device which is... Faster. It's not enough reason to pay hundreds of $$.
    I'm leaning towards MacBook (airs) for serous work. I literary am 10 times more productive on a laptop.

    A phone is something different. You take it with you all the time, demanding a lot from it. But even phones and phablets don't need annual replacement.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    rogifan wrote: »
    What was Steve's vision for iPad anyway? It's completely unfair to blame the current leadership when Jobs clearly didn't have some grand vision for iPad either. At least the current leadership is trying to make iPad useful for more than watching videos and surfing Safari.

    Jobs wasn't the only visionary. But most of the old A Team is gone. Forstall is gone. Fadell is gone. Serlet is gone. The remaining ones represent operations and marketing, and hardware design. Is it any surprise those are the three areas they're doing well in?

    Craig is showing he's not capable of leading the software division. Under him, iOS reached the buggiest state ever, and OS X has a lot of problems and bugs that should have been fixed years ago (El Cap is a start, not a complete fix).

    The thing with the iPad is that iOS 6, 7, and 8 were iPhone focused. Heck, they couldn't even be bothered to port the keyboard from the 6+ to the iPad last year! When Steve heard the "consumption device only" he had iLife and iWork ported to it.

    Apple hasn't done anything like that since. And the 'big' iPad improvements for iOS 9 are just features that were intended for iOS 8 that are now being done properly, the delays of which meant that Apple sold a tablet for a year that perhaps two apps could actually harness the power of.

    I mean, was making Notes into TextEdit Touch that hard of an idea? Why wasn't that done in, say, iOS 6? It's not like it's a new idea; it's just a watered down version of the Notes application from Newton OS.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    The platform is fine and powerful. The problem is that iOS has an ecosystem of app developers that just copy each other. Same probably for Android. So many copies of the same idea. Goes for games, task managers, etc. You name the genre and there are probably five or more clones. Limited innovation until there is more risk taking to do something really interesting.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Craig is showing he's not capable of leading the software division. Under him, iOS reached the buggiest state ever, and OS X has a lot of problems and bugs that should have been fixed years ago (El Cap is a start, not a complete fix).

    ...and there's the "Apple software is buggy" meme, right on schedule. despite the hand waiving, I've never run into any bugs on iOS or OS X that I can think of. iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad. what am I doing wrong? meanwhile my windows VMs have a never ending stream of updates.

    I won't even get into the "there's no one alive at Apple to think about product now!" meme.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post





    ...and there's the "Apple software is buggy" meme, right on schedule. despite the hand waiving, I've never run into any bugs on iOS or OS X that I can think of. iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad. what am I doing wrong? meanwhile my windows VMs have a never ending stream of updates.



    I won't even get into the "there's no one alive at Apple to think about product now!" meme.



    Yeah, no idea what happened to @TheWhiteFalcon. His posts started off ok but now they are lamenting the state of Apple too often. Guess that's just one more name in my block list now.

  • Reply 16 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    The real problem is Apple doesn't have a visionary anymore, or if they do they're not listening to them. They honestly don't know what to do with the iPad.

     

    Actually, it seems like they have an extremely strong vision for the iPad, going by their brilliant partnership with IBM and their significant software upgrades for the iPad. It's also an infinitely more capable product than when SJ unveiled it. 

     

    Maybe a troll like you should worry more about your lack of vision, than Apple's. They seem to be doing just fine. Why don't you enlighten us with what you think they "should" do with the iPad, and which would increase its popularity, more than what they're already doing? Please, be specific. You're good at whining and criticizing, but I have yet to ever see you offer any kind of viable alternative. 

  • Reply 17 of 68
    The only problem I see personally with iPad is that is was done so well from the start that once people bought one they were absolutely content with the one they bought. The mini helped for people like me that love to read but holding it for a few hours got a little heavy even as light as it is. These people who bought once and were completely satisfied was not necessarily a bad thing, but just like computers over the last 20 years people tend to keep their computers until they fail or wait for something substantial to emerge - case in point the iPad. It was just different enough from their laptop and iPhone that caused them to want/need one. i admit I did t understand its purpose till the second version, but once I tried it in the store I had to have one! How many people can say that about a new Mac or of computer these days?

    So for those people waiting for something substantial you're about to get a 1-2 punch as iOS 9 is an iPad specific update top to bottom. Oh sure there's a few cool things for the iPhone but this will be known as the "iPad iOS update". So how does apple get people happy with their originally purchased iPad to pull the trigger like they do yearly on their iPhone ? All the REALLY REALLY cool iOS features will only work on iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (coming) and the larger business iPad (coming).

    Everyone wanting all the cool new features will finally have a reason to upgrade their iPads - just like they did their iPhones with Siri and Touch ID.

    It will be VERY frustrating for iPad users who don't have the iPad Air 2 so I suspect iOS 9 will be the thing that will get people to pull the trigger. I love my iPad mini 2 and although there's a retinal 3 it didn't have the "must have" factor that the new mini 4 will have. In order to run all the new cool iOS 9 iPad specific iPad Air 2 features you must have that 2GB ram. So once that hits the mini 4 I will want to do all the things I can do on my air 2. And the new larger business iPad which all of these features obviously geared at that size? It's a no brainier!

    The only thing that I feel would really make people pull the trigger for sure? If the business iPad ran OSX and iOS 9 as a "choice when launching" option. Holy crap that would be the holy grail for me. I'm a record producer and we need the retail space for our 24 multi track OSX software. If the business iPad could provide that allowing me to bounce it to my large screen tv through apple tv the way we do now through iOS that would be killer! IMHO
    Joseph
  • Reply 18 of 68
    razormaid wrote: »
    The only problem I see personally with iPad is that is was done so well from the start that once people bought one they were absolutely content with the one they bought. The mini helped for people like me that love to read but holding it for a few hours got a little heavy even as light as it is. These people who bought once and were completely satisfied was not necessarily a bad thing, but just like computers over the last 20 years people tend to keep their computers until they fail or wait for something substantial to emerge - case in point the iPad. It was just different enough from their laptop and iPhone that caused them to want/need one. i admit I did t understand its purpose till the second version, but once I tried it in the store I had to have one! How many people can say that about a new Mac or of computer these days?

    So for those people waiting for something substantial you're about to get a 1-2 punch as iOS 9 is an iPad specific update top to bottom. Oh sure there's a few cool things for the iPhone but this will be known as the "iPad iOS update". So how does apple get people happy with their originally purchased iPad to pull the trigger like they do yearly on their iPhone ? All the REALLY REALLY cool iOS features will only work on iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (coming) and the larger business iPad (coming).

    Everyone wanting all the cool new features will finally have a reason to upgrade their iPads - just like they did their iPhones with Siri and Touch ID.

    It will be VERY frustrating for iPad users who don't have the iPad Air 2 so I suspect iOS 9 will be the thing that will get people to pull the trigger. I love my iPad mini 2 and although there's a retinal 3 it didn't have the "must have" factor that the new mini 4 will have. In order to run all the new cool iOS 9 iPad specific iPad Air 2 features you must have that 2GB ram. So once that hits the mini 4 I will want to do all the things I can do on my air 2. And the new larger business iPad which all of these features obviously geared at that size? It's a no brainier!

    The only thing that I feel would really make people pull the trigger for sure? If the business iPad ran OSX and iOS 9 as a "choice when launching" option. Holy crap that would be the holy grail for me. I'm a record producer and we need the retail space for our 24 multi track OSX software. If the business iPad could provide that allowing me to bounce it to my large screen tv through apple tv the way we do now through iOS that would be killer! IMHO
    Joseph

    I agree totally with the first part.

    But what about iOS being tailored mainly for the iPad and offering "killer" features? I do not have the beta and I'm curious what you are referring to. Apart from split screen and some keyboard tweaks can you let me know what else they are bringing with ios9?
  • Reply 19 of 68
    I believe the iPad has still a lot of potential. It is still Apple fastest selling product ever - even if it is going to be surpassed by the iPhone soon (source: http://qz.com/393502/the-iphone-is-about-to-surpass-the-ipad-as-apples-fastest-selling-product/). I feel that may times the current sale numbers are used to create the idea that there much less many iPads around as iPhones. That is not the case. My personal experience as well as threat from my friends is that everyone who has an iPad is quite happy with it, like with the iPhone. The difference is as sog wrote somewhere yesterday that the iPhone has this "must have the latest" status. So people like to upgrade their phone more than their iPad. Just because they do not feel the need.

    I do see some lack of clarity regarding the iPad lineup - it is not clean. As well, I always had the feeling that they do not make the best use of the larger canvas, without being able to point the finger at exactly what is missing. Maybe iOS9 will change this.

    Regarding ports I still am happy they do not offer anything in hardware. I don't want to have a port that clogs up, looks ugly and I need to find a thumb drive or sd card or whatever to transfer files. I'm using cloud based solutions and with the iCloud Drive app things will even become easier.

    And I am really curious as well about the "pro" version with the stylus. I hope it gets revealed in September. However I fear it may not due to lack of leaks.
  • Reply 20 of 68
    It will be interesting to see what Apple will announce soon. How about the iPad Pro being released at $500 and the iPad Air dropping down a couple hundred bucks?

    This will give some breathing space between low end MacBooks and the top iPad. That should goose up adoption of iPads like nobody's business. PLUS is should let the air out of the tires on the MS Surface.
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