Even though they may be lusting for the new iPad or other spiffy Android tablet competitors flooding the market, there are many small businesses owners who can't justify buying one. The reasons differ, they told Information Week, but they share a common thread: the iPad and other tablets just don't serve their business needs.
A key problem for many small business contemplating tablets is that there's not an app for that, Information Week reported. Even though Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market are swamped with tablet business apps, in many cases, industry-specific applications are simply not available.
The owner of a cleaning and restoration business in Wichita, Kan., told Information Week that he loves new technologies because they help set his firm apart. He'd like to add tablets to his current platforms, but faces a critical roadblock.
"The software in our line of work has not quite caught up with then hardware, such as iPad or other tablets," he said. "As they get there, we will implement."
For some jobs, the tablet's form factor and lack of keyboard, for example, just don't match up with the work that needs to be done.
"I don't own an iPad," the CEO of a small consulting company told Information Week. "I just don't think it's a tool that I need for my business. A significant portion of my day is spent writing or researching. I feel the laptop is still the superior tool for these tasks."
The final tablet deal-breaker can be spotty or unavailable broadband and wireless service. This is particularly true in rural areas where a dial-up connection may be the only service available.
"I would love to have and use the iPad," said the owner of an international art and design business that she and her husband run from a 156-year-old ranch north of Austin, Texas. But they can't get high-speed Internet service, Information Week reported.
"We even have to drive up the nearest hill to use our cellphone," she said. "And for some strange reason, satellite service is very spotty — it may have something to do with the 300,000-acre military base, Fort Hood, nearby. Unfortunately, we run the business on 28k dial-up."
Unfortunately, Information Week wrote, tablet makers aren't developing for that use case.
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