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Apple's Jobs stand-in touts iPad's enterprise reach

Blasts 'bizarre' Android tablets

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The iPad is now being used or evaluated in "80 per cent of the largest companies", according to recently elevated day-to-day Apple chieftain Tim Cook.

"I think the most forward-looking CIOs are coming to the realization that the productivity of the person, the creativity of the employee, is materially more important than everyone using the same thing," Cook told analysts and reporters on a conference call after Apple posted its financial results for the first quarter of its current fiscal year.

"The ability to write apps in a simple and straightforward manner for the [iPhone] or the iPad through the [iOS] SDK is an incredible thing."

Veering into hyperbole, Cook marveled: "You can wind up literally running your whole business off of an iPad or and iPhone."

After citing that 80 per cent figure, Cook told his listeners that was something the world has never seen. "This is unheard of, at least in my dealings with the enterprise over the years. Generally the enterprise is much slower, much more cautious, and uses things that have been on the market for a long time."

But not this time, Cook said. "They've seen the value of this from a productivity and creativity point of view, and they're really moving fast."

The iPad's acceptance by the enterprise, according to Cook, is happening more rapidly than that of the iPhone due in part to the Cupertinian fondleslab's piggybacking on features that have been added to iOS since the days when it was still known as iPhone OS.

"The iPad has a huge advantage," he said, "because, as you remember, as we went to various different iOS releases, we always put in a huge chomp [sic] of enterprise features. This isn't something that we just started focusing on – we started focusing on this before we started shipping the first phone."

In his prepared remarks opening the call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer cited figures on the iPhone's advance into the enterprise market. "Enterprise customers continue to embrace iPhone," he said, with Apple's traditional disdain for either definite or indefinite articles, "with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies and almost 60 per cent of the Financial Times Europe 100 companies now testing or deploying iPhone."

According to Oppenheimer, new enterprise iPhone customers include Wells Fargo, Archer Daniels Midland, DuPont, Staples, Starbucks, Genworth Financial, Nissan Motor, BBZA, Standard Charter Group, and Danone.

And despite these touted successes, Jobs' stand-in says that we're just at the beginning of Apple's iOS-in-the-enterprise push. Refering to "the consumerization of the enterprise" as "one of the megatrends that are occuring," Cook offered the opinion that "I think we're just scratching the surface right now." ®

Bootnote

It wouldn't have been an Apple earnings call if there weren't some competition-bashing, and Cook didn't disappoint. Reminiscent of Steve Jobs' rant against seven-inch tablets during last quarter's financial report, Cook said of the current crop of Android-based tablets: "You wind up having a size of a tablet that is less than what we believe is reasonable, or even one that would provide what we feel is a real tablet experience."

Perhaps believing that he hadn't denigrated small-scale tablets as effectively as his boss did back in October, Cook turned up the heat: "Basically you end up with kind of a scaled-up smartphone – which is a bizarre product, in our view."

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