Apple's iPad is likely to the dominant tablet device in the enterprise for the foreseeable future, thanks to the ecosystem of applications the vendor has developed.
So says industry analyst Gartner, which argues that the wealth of apps available for the iPad make it hard to beat.
"Fundamentally, the market battle will not hinge on features and specifications; on the fit and finish of a given device; or even the device at all," said David Willis, research vice president at Gartner.
"The platform that will prevail will have a strong supporting ecosystem of developers producing a wide range of applications. And in this area, Apple is far ahead of competition," he added.
"Not only does it have a first mover advantage in the device itself, but it has built a curated application distribution mechanism in the App Store that is notable both for how users hold it in high regard and how detractors see it as a limitation.
"In the end, Apple's lead will be very difficult to beat."
Gartner also suggests that CIOs should not wait for the tablet market to mature, but should start experimenting with them now.
"CIOs are determined not to make the same mistakes they made with smartphones, which were often written off early as expensive and frivolous toys, or executive status symbols – which then left room for more inventive leaders who saw the competitive advantage that mobile applications would bring," said Willis.
"If you can think of an application for tablets, your competition may well be thinking in the same way – and acting on it. It is time to explore the use of media tablets in business."
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