Will the Apple iPad be the next big thing in government computing? Hard to say at this point but according to an article in Federal Computer Week, there are signs that interest is beginning to simmer.
According to the article, Apple sold 3 million of these in only 80 days on the market (hey, we’ve purchased three of them in the past few weeks ourselves). Reuters reported Aug. 1 that Apple “could sell 25 million of the electronic tablets next year, based on the trajectory of past consumer hits.” One research outfit thinks tablets will account for one of every four PCs sold by 2015.
Of course government agencies don’t typically push the envelope on technology for everyday workers. Will they buy into this thing? According to the report, it’s already happening. More than one agency already lists the iPad as an option on purchasing contracts, while some are testing the devices. NASA, already a big user of Apple Mac and iPhones has also started testing the iPad. John Sprague, user services project executive at the agency’s Outsourcing Desktop Initiative (ODIN), said he sees its potential value as an on-the-go platform.
Perhaps it isn’t likely the iPad will eliminate the desktop anytime soon. In fact, the device is still highly dependent on the desktop computer. However, the mobility and flexibility are really useful. We can envision all sorts of apps by government-oriented vendors ranging from communications to public safety. While it’s still early, it will be interesting to watch the rate of adoption for the iPad within government.
What do you think? Will the iPad be the next big thing in government?