Apple Speculation Spectacular

The Impact of a Possible Tablet Rests on Several Key Factors

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Now, we can use all sorts of platforms for enterprise computing -- I recently wrote a review of Ten Business Apps for the iPhone over at InfoWorld -- but data entry will matter for the table. VPN capability, integration with Exchange and other enterprise application systems, authentication possibilities, and even on-device data encryption will be other things to look for in figuring out whether a tablet is a computer. The last thing that will matter? The App Store.

The iPhone is an OK phone, but it has been wildly successful as an application platform. If Apple announces that the tablet will participate in the App Store, then the question is when, rather than if, it will be used in business. Yes, the entry method is hugely important, but we've already seen that application developers can be clever enough to overcome nearly insurmountable device deficiencies with great apps. If those same folks are turned loose on a more capable and feature-rich platform, then this might just be a game-changer -- even if the game is changed in ways that Apple can't image the day before the big announcement.

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