The latest release of Apple’s pervasive iPad tablet, simply called ‘The New iPad’, has benefited from some technical upgrades that will enhance their use in an enterprise environment, according to analysts.
One of the key changes announced was the introduction of retina display, a term coined by Apple when it unveiled the iPhone 4. Although the display size itself hasn’t changed from previous iPad releases, 9.7 inches (diagonal), it now boasts 2048 by 1536 pixels, for a total of over 3.1 million pixels. This pixel density means that at normal viewing distances it is not possible to see individual pixels, increasing the quality of the display.
Although this may appear to be an enhancement that is a little superficial when considering enterprise use, Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi points out that given that iPads are often initially rolled out to Sales and Marketing functions, it may be considered a useful improvement.
“The screen and the introduction of retina display is certainly a great asset of the new iPad,” said Milanesi. “Considering how many of the clients we are talking to use iPads to show brochures or other marketing materials, they could certainly benefit from it."
Milanesi also believes that Apple’s decision to include support for high-speed 4G LTE networks on iPads that include the mobile broadband feature will benefit US enterprises, where 4G networks have been rolled out already. “In the US, the addition of LTE might appeal to organisations whose users are particularly mobile and therefore are more reliant on cellular coverage and speed,” she said.
However, this will be a useless feature for UK based companies for the time being, as 4G networks aren’t expected to be rolled out until next year following the much delayed spectrum auction in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The new iPad will also boast a new A5X chip, which promises four times the performance of the Tegra 3 processor that powers many of the Android tablets in the market, thanks to the introduction of a new quad-core graphics processor.
Forrestor analyst Ted Schadler wrote in a blog for Computerworld UK that this will greatly aid the use of enterprise applications on the iPad, which are often resource hungry.
“With 11 percent of employees globally using tablets today, developers have powerful incentives to port business apps to touchscreen tablets. Already developers have built 200,000 apps for iPad. With a faster network connection and more power in the touchscreen interface, the new iPad can take on more business workloads: graphics, video, browser apps,” he said.
“And some of that network speed and graphics power will be diverted to translate keyboard/mouse applications to even better virtual machine interfaces from Citrix, VMware, and others,” he added.