IBM Plans to Design Apps Aimed at iPad

SAN FRANCISCO – IBM this week announced more business apps for the iPhone, including Lotus Connections for corporate social networking and Lotus Quickr for sharing documents. (Neither is available at the App Store yet.) Alistair Rennie, manager of Lotus software for IBM, told Forbes that his company also plans to target the iPad.

"Our customers are looking at the iPad and they're excited about it," Mr. Rennie told writer Andy Greenberg. "No one quite knows its use patterns yet, but it's our intention to deliver as much of our portfolio as possible on it as fast as possible. The screen real estate and the touch interface should give us the opportunity to do some very interesting things.”

While Apple tends to focus more on consumers than corporate IT departments, there are four million iPhones used in enterprise settings, with nine million expected by 2013, according to IDC, and Mr. Rennie said the iPad could further blur the line between work and home. “The iPad gives people what will probably be a home device, but they're still going to want to access a full suite of business software on it,” he commented.

IBM is also targeting RIM’s BlackBerry and Google’s Android with Lotus applications, but Mr. Rennie didn’t see much promise in putting development effort into Windows Mobile. He said: "Adoption has trickled off to an inconsequential amount. The idea of putting Windows on a mobile device has been about as successful as the Zune."