Consumer electronics have been Apple’s bread and butter for a long time now, with the iPod and iPhone leading the charge. Along came the iPad with great success of its own, but that has been steadily diminishing over the last few years, as consumers stick with a previous model or head over to an Android tablet instead.
With consumer sales on the decline, Apple is taking some time to improve the iPad and its appeal for business. They have teamed up with over 40 different enterprise level app developers to improve and streamline the software offerings and abilities.
The initiative is called the Mobility Partner Program, or MPP, and focuses so far on apps like accounting software, point of sale software, or digital cash registers, and more.
With the improved software in hand, developers are then training Apple business specialists who can then better assist their customers, like your favorite restaurant down the street. As the program advances, Apple is said to be looking to build app bundles that can be sold to businesses to solve all of their computing needs, from the register, management, accounting, logistics and beyond.
In addition, Apple is attempting to get old IBM partners and carriers, AT&T and Verizon for starters, to develop and distribute app bundles as well.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s MPP has already assisted at least two businesses. Educating one business to change accounting software and another to streamline their restaurant with cash register and order management tools.
Apple is not the only one taking the iPad to the next level, just check out this Bloomberg piece on how the military in Israel is using iPads with custom software as critical communications tools.
In the end, tablet sales have been slipping for most vendors around the globe, with most blaming the success of large screen phones for the decline. Creative use cases and improved functionality for business and enterprise applications are a predictable and logical move for Apple.
What do you think, is there room for iPad in business, or can an Android tablet or Windows tablet outdo Apple’s tablet?