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Why The iPad?

When folks heard that IBM has given me (and many more of its employees) an iPad, they wonder why? There are two reasons for this wonderment. Some folks still think of IBM as a maker of personal computers, but that is no longer the case. IBM got out of the PC business nearly a decade ago. We have had employees using Apple products for many years now. IBM still issues Lenovo Thinkpads, but employees who want to use their own Apple MAC can and do do that. The Thinkpad is a family of laptops that IBM designed and built years ago and when we sold the laptop business to Lenovo, continued to do the design work. It is arguably the most durable laptop on the market, short of being a hardened laptop, but IBM hasn't made or sold them for years now.

The second reason people wonder "why" is more legitimate. I asked this second questions myself. I already have a laptop and a phone issued by IBM, why do a need a tablet? The official reason that IBM gave in the e-mail notice regarding the iPad said that they "want our customers to see us as a mobile company." So IBM wants our customers seeing us using mobile devices. This actually makes a lot of sense. IBM can provide support for mobile device roll outs and management. It provides very effective security technologies for mobile devices. It provides application development tools for mobile devices. So IBM really is a mobile solutions provider. We want our customers to know that and one of the best ways is for them to see us putting the technology to effective use.