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Apple's release last week of the new iOS 4.2 version its mobile operating system added some long awaited new bells and whistles for iPad users, but, more importantly for the enterprise, adds some key management tools for IT administrators.
If Apple is to be believed, enterprises are deploying iPads in droves – on its most recent earnings call, the company said more than 65 percent of the Fortune 100 are testing the iPad. And the new mobile management and mobile security features of iOS 4.2 should make the iPad considerably more friendly for IT professionals to support.
Microsoft reportedly sold just 40,000 Windows Phone 7 phones in its opening day on sale Monday, dwarfed by Apple's 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on its first day and Google's boost that it is activating more than 200,000 Android phones per day.
The report by TheStreet.com citing "a market research source who tracks phone sales" dovetails with new research from the IHL Group that shows relatively little interest among current smartphone users in Windows Phone 7. The IHL study announced this week found that more than 56 percent of current smartphone users are seriously considering an Apple iPhone and 44 percent an Android device for their next smartphone, while only 24 percent are considering a BlackBerry and a paltry 10 percent gave Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 any serious consideration. The study is based on a survey of 570 consumers and 66 retailers, the research firm said.
Unisys confirmed last week that it reached an agreement Apple to help integrate and support its consumer products, including the iPhone and iPad, into enterprise systems for corporate and government customers.
The deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, is the latest example of third parties stepping up to make Apple's popular consumer-focused devices more manageable by the enterprise. Under the agreement, Unisys will offer its government and business customers iPhone/iPad integration services and build applications for Apple's devices tailored to the needs of governmental agencies. Unisys has already created a remote border-monitoring smartphone app for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
As expected, Apple's iPad helped erode the market for netbooks, which were also squeezed from above by falling prices of notebook PCs, during the second quarter, according to the quarterly report on the laptop market by research firm DisplaySearch.
Shipments of mini-note/tablet PCs in the three months ended June 30, 2010 increased 29 percent compared to the 2009 second quarter, though they dipped 4 percent from the previous quarter. However, without the 3.3 million iPads shipped in the quarter, shipments of mini-note/tablet PCs would have been down 13 percent from the year-earlier quarter and 14 percent from the 2010 first quarter, according to DisplaySearch's Quarterly Advanced Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, which also tracks portable PCs with 5-inch screens and larger.
All four national US wireless carriers announced last week that they'll sell Samsung 's Android-based tablet this fall, and Samsung disclosed a series of media partnerships aimed at making its Galaxy Tab a viable competitor to Apple's iPad.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile in separate announcements said they will offer the 7-inch tablet based on the latest release of Google's Android mobile OS, though none offered details on pricing or specific release dates. Verizon said it will launch the tablet in the "coming weeks," AT&T in the "coming months," Sprint by "this fall," and T-Mobile said "for the holiday season." At a press conference in New York, Samsung said it would launch a Media Hub services with partners including MTV, NBC, Paramount and Universal Home Entertainment, designed to be competitive with Apple's recently revamped Apple TV service.
If you're keeping score, Apple's iPad may soon be competing against high-profile tablets from HTC, Cisco, Research In Motion and Motorola -- and at least one HP device. But almost half a year has passed since the iPad hit the market and we still don't have a firm date for any of these devices. Now, Samsung could be ready to offer just that, as the manufacturer has put up a flashy video promising to introduce a 7-inch Google Android tablet at a Sept. 2 event in Berlin.
Until now the device, dubbed the Galaxy Tab, has been the subject of a number of rumors (as has basically every other potential device out there). And admittedly, the video doesn't offer much in the way of details. It will run on the 2.2 version of Android -- or Froyo -- and allows for video calling, e-reading and HD movie playback, and it will offer support for Flash.
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