How Steve Jobs’ side bet on the iPad affected Microsoft’s tablets

“When Steve Jobs took the stage to introduce the iPad in 2010, he did something that he had never done in past presentations: He moved stage right and sat down in a big easy chair… He also made it very clear to the world that the iPad’s real glory came from it being a consumption device. He showed how it could be used to consume information, music, movies and games. He did not give any indication that that it could or should be used for anything other than consumer applications.,” Tim Bajarin writes for TIME Magazine. “But in a nod to the idea that the iPad could be useful to more than just consumers, Jobs had Apple SVP of marketing Phil Schiller come out and say that there would also be iPad versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers — Apple’s office productivity software. With that, Jobs and his team placed a side bet that the iPad was not just a consumer device, but one that could also be used for productivity.”

“Jobs knew that if he had positioned it for productivity and business, he would have gotten shot down by the business media. He knew they would buy the idea of the iPad as a consumer product, but would consider it way too underpowered to be used for business applications. Jobs and his team’s genius lies in the fact that they actually knew that it could be used for productivity, and from the beginning built the software tools for business app developers to create iPad versions of their products,” Bajarin writes. “For the first three months, the media and market pretty much just focused on the iPad as a consumer product and highlighted its various consumer applications. However, by the fourth month, we started seeing serious business applications written for use on an iPad. In fact, by the end of the iPad’s first year on the market, SAP had bought close to 10,000 iPads for company use; also bought thousands for its workers.”

Bajarin writes, “By the anniversary of the iPad, there were over 10,000 business apps, and companies around the world were looking at the iPad as a highly mobile tool that could impact their users’ productivity. And schools had quickly seen that the iPad could be a valuable learning tool and started buying iPads in big numbers… This set off major alarms inside Microsoft.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
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Over 95% of custom apps developed by businesses are written for Apple iOS devices – October 17, 2013
Why businesses are embracing Apple’s iOS 7 – October 7, 2013
Apple targets the enterprise with powerful iOS 7 – September 19, 2013
Apple iPhone fingerprint reader means government business – September 5, 2013
Apple website touts iOS 7 enterprise additions for business customers – June 26, 2013
9 out of 10 businesses support Apple iPhones and iPads – February 6, 2013
Gartner: By 2014, Apple will be as accepted by enterprise IT as Microsoft is today – February 4, 2013
NetSuite CEO: Apple will become the model for the successful next-gen enterprise software company – January 10, 2013
Apple’s incursions into the enterprise begin to add up – December 13, 2012
Enterprises buying iPhones ‘in droves’: Here’s the tipping point – November 27, 2012
Apple Macs continue to invade the enterprise – September 5, 2012
Gartner: Apple Macs invading the Windows PC-dominated enterprise – June 6, 2012
Report: 6 of top 10 enterprise devices using Good Technology are iOS, 97% of tablets are iPad – April 26, 2012
Apple iPad in the enterprise: A videoconferencing dream machine – April 10, 2012
Demand for Apple’s new iPad has powerful impact on corporate market – March 13, 2012


    1. It is actually worse – it appears that they were spending their time making mini-me movies, and I expect these were the ones they were really proud of (the others are still being edited on some 8.1 machine)

  1. “This set off major alarms inside Microsoft.” He must be referring to the “oh shit!” alarm. That’s been going off a lot at Microsoft starting in 2007. Oh Shit! the iPhone. Oh shit! It’s the iPad. Oh shit! A Macbook Air with flash memory. And lately, oh Shit! A 64-bit iPhone. Oh shit! Fee iWork on iOS7. That alarm will go off again when Apple decides to open up the Apple TV to developers.

    1. Another “Oh shit” moment was the iPad mini arrival. Now Microsloth is chasing the 10″ iPad when the dynamics of the market have shifted and the mini has quickly become the top selling tablet. Once again Apple was way ahead of Microsloth. And they STILL don’t have an 8″ Surface when Cupertino is about to release the Retina mini, drop the price of the non-Retina mini and sew up the premium small tablet category.

      Damn I really hate to see Ballmer go.

      1. But Microsoft has those beautiful 55″ touch workstations. Don’t you want a job somewhere that uses them? But be great being hunched over one of those beauties 9 hours a day, flailing your arms around like a monkey. Oh, wait, now I see why Ballmer likes that strategy.

    2. That alarm at Microshit represents the Shit Stain the size of Nebraska that the Microsoft managers produces, loads of sleepless nights that was 😀 and wait till tomorrow, the kicking continues when the ipad 5 and mini 2 comes out LOOL 😀

  2. This article is a Trojan horse! It’s actually pro-Microsoft, saying the Surface 2 and Windows 8 are now viable contenders in the marketplace!

    I demand an anti-Microflaccid MDN take on this despicably deceptive piece of faux-journalism post haste!

    1. Tim’s stuff in general is pretty well thought out. I don’t think this article is too off the mark. Even though Apple is making great inroads into enterprise, there are still way too many windows IT guys running the show. If they get their hands on anything MS that even remotely works, they will do everything in their power to switch to it (American Airlines, case in point). I’m also guessing writing for Time mag he has to be less one sided than usual…
      Hopefully Apple keeps chipping away until there is no more MS to speak of. I know I’m buying a new iPad tomorrow, time for an upgrade.

  3. I recently came across and watched again the interview at Dconfernce of 2005 with Jobs & Gates.

    What I found because of looking back in the past with 20/20 hindsight – Jobs in answers as vague as they were – he actually was describing the Apple future. iPhone, iPad, iCloud etc… Gates was as clueless as ever in describing what a tablet will be – as the Surface proved.

    I really recommend people go back and watch on Youtube. Because in 2013 Jobs answers all are true. It really shows his vision of Tech and Apple

  4. MDN’s title “How Steve Jobs’ side bet on the iPad affected Microsoft’s tablets” could have been more clearly stated as:

    How Steve Jobs’ side bet on the iPad kicked Microsoft in the gut. MSOffice profitability just dropped a boat load. Bill Gates’ friend Warren Buffett saw this coming over a decade ago.

  5. MS doesn’t understand the needs of business market for tablets. Not having cell conecitivy is the first big fail. The iPad is fore workers who don’t sit at a desk. The awkward to hold 16:9 TV size is another. Workers don’t want to type a letter, they want to fill in a form. Easy to hold while using a soft keyboard is a must. A cover that stays closed when not in use is important. The MS keyboard cover does not stay shut. MS never made a tablet before the iPad, they made a laptop with a touchscreen interface. After a decade they still can’t understand why they don’t work out in the field.

  6. if this article is right that just means IT doofuses can inflict them on us without a complete uproar. Good luck, when my windows surface is on, you will be billed by the hour for it. If you prevent me from using my iPad, productivity suffers. You lose. Microsoft made you lose. again. again. and again. when will you learn?

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