Barclays to Buy 8,500 iPads
– Shows How Much Microsoft Has Lost Ground
Even though Microsoft has launched a Window compatible Surface
tablet, corporates are buying iPads in increasing quantities.
Barclays bank will order about 8,500 iPads that will be used
by its front-office staff when interacting with customers in
its 1,600 branches, according to the Guardian. It’s not clear
whether the iPads replace potential PC sales or perhaps for
applications for which PCs are not well-suited. It’s a blow to
Microsoft, which has just launched a version of Windows 8 for
ARM-based tablets such as its own Surface and in January
another version for Intel-based tablets that would have been
compatible with the bank’s existing PCs.
Speculation immediately runs to thinking the order opens the
door for thousands more iPads at Barclays and tens of
thousands purchased by other banks worldwide.
The evaluation started back in 2011, well before Microsoft had
an OS for tablets. It started with a pilot trial that was
intended to see if the iPad could pass Barclays security
standards, which it obviously did.
It may also be an indicator that Microsoft will have to duke
it out with the iPad in the corporate market, which did not
seem so certain once Microsoft laid out its two-pronged plans
for Windows 8 tablets.
Barclays did not say which other devices it tested or which
brands — not even whether they were tablets or laptops. It
said that security was a major concern, as might be expected
of a bank.
Barclays said the bank was impressed with the “instant-on”
feature, which might indicate it was comparing it to laptops.
It said the camera on the iPad 2, which it was testing, is
better than most scanners. It allows files to be scanned,
tagged, secured and immediately uploaded to the cloud. “Why
have paper and a scanner?” it asked.
The bank’s front-office staff will be able to use an
application called Mortgage Bank to show mortgages information
to potential customers, even while they are waiting in line.
The Mortgage Bank app comes from a company that’s owned by a
consortium of banks that have 65% of the UK’s new business
mortgage market within the UK.
Remember when Apple reported last March that it sold more than
three million iPads on their first weekend on the market. We
suggested several ways that Microsoft could do the same with
Windows 8 tablets from the corporates . One was that Microsoft
round up its PC partners including Intel and challenge them to
get orders for over three million Windows 8 tablets on its
first week on the market. Evidently they didn’t do that — or
they did and it failed. Surely a major bank like Barclays
would have been a key target.
We are waiting for other banks to announce their decisions.