On today’s Q1 earnings call, Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer bragged that “nearly all NFL teams use iPads as playbooks.”
This wouldn’t necessarily be interesting, except for the fact that Microsoft has a multi-year contract with the NFL to provide players, coaches and other personnel with a Surface tablet.
Of course, NFL teams have been using the iPad for years.
In 2011, a number of NFL teams had figured out how to transfer their playbooks over to iPad, as well as view and edit game film on the fly. By fall 2012, the number of NFL teams using iPads as playbooks had grown from 2 to 14.
In 2013, though, Microsoft signed a multi-year deal with the NFL that had a number of stipulations. As the official sideline technology partner of the NFL, Microsoft Surface and Windows would be “the official tablet and PC operating system of the NFL.”
This is made clear when you watch the NFL on Fox, as all the sports announcers sport kickstand-equipped Surface tablets on-air.
However, it seems that coaches and players prefer iProducts, according to Oppenheimer’s statements on today’s call. And it wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened.
The iPad has been a major tool across a number of enterprise businesses. Originally, health companies and car companies began using the iPad for sales purposes. Inevitably, the iPad became a sales tool across many verticals in the enterprise. More recently, industries are looking to replace paper manuals, as is the case with airlines and flight manuals.