The iPad is already being adopted in businesses, even though it is has been positioned as a consumer media consumption device by Apple. In a report about Apple’s global iPad reach, Reuters found several companies outside the U.S. that are finding ways to use the iPad in their businesses.
A firm in Japan offering wedding services and facilities called Novarese Inc. has begun using iPads to show customers videos of wedding dresses. The company started the implementation in its Ginza shopping district store in Tokyo, and plans to expand iPad use at seven other locations.
“We once considered showing it to customers on laptops but they are heavy. The iPad perfectly fits our demand,” company spokeswoman Kazuka Nohara told Reuters. “We also found something unexpected. Grooms are now more proactive in selecting a wedding dress.”
Also in Japan, Otsuka Pharmaceutical told the news services that it plans on buying 1,300 iPads for use by its sales team.
Qantas airlines of Australia has announced plans for its budget brand, Jetstar, to rent iPads to in-flight customers for AUS$10 (US$8.50) to read ebooks, play games, or watch movies. Global Mundo Tapas, a restaurant in Sydney, has used iPads to replace its paper menus.
High end hotel chain InterContinental is arming its concierges with iPads to use for guest recommendations.
Apple doesn’t have a big track record of success in the business world, and we should note that the examples above are not enterprise deployments of the iPad, but rather examples of businesses who deal directly with their customers finding ways to leverage the iPad’s strengths to provide information and presentations to those customers.
The important aspect of that, however, is that even retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and airlines represent a potentially large revenue stream for Apple, and the company isn’t even trying to directly sell to those businesses.