updated 09:40 pm EDT, Sun April 3, 2011
Europe says iPad 2 shortage hurting meetings
European businesses have faced an unusual problem in having to delay board meetings due to iPad 2 shortages. Diligent Boardbooks' Simon Small noted to the FT that "almost all" large companies in the continent want to use the Apple tablet for meeting notes, but the chronic shortages have left many of them without supply. The decision to cap sales at two iPads per person, to prevent gray market sales in the face of chronic shortages, is leaving many companies without the option to go paperless.
Small cited an example of 10 clients across Africa and Europe who needed a total of 200 iPad 2s in the next month.
The middleman is one example and wasn't wholly representative of trends. He still saw there being rabid demand from companies hoping to eliminate waste and weight. Although an iPad 2 costs at least $499, the sheer volume of paper from meetings has made a tablet a less expensive option in the long term, along with being more eco-friendly.
Enterprise use has been demonstrated as growing outside of meeting rooms. Apple noted that 80 of the Fortune 100 were either testing or actively using iPads in deployments. For many, the iPad is much more portable than a regular notebook, lasts longer on battery life and is better for live presentations.
Regardless of the use, Small added that he hadn't seen any companies, at least in Britain, trying to use Android or another platform for the same purpose. "In the UK, the only tablet businesses want to view their board papers on right now is the iPad 2," he said.