Just when mobile managers and IT departments started feeling comfortable supporting the iPhone, now comes the Apple's new handheld computer, the iPad.

At first glance, Apple's iPad appears to be squarely aimed at consumers who want a mobile device that's bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop for experiencing entertainment multimedia. But analysts say a closer evaluation shows that we'll be seeing the iPad in the enterprise as part of the emerging mobile office.

"The iPad is clearly aimed at consumers, but Apple isn't completely ignoring the enterprise: e-mail, calendar and contacts are all built-in. Apple also rebuilt the iWork suite for the iPad, and then priced these relatively full function Office applications using the iPhone app pricing model -- just $10 each," Avi Greengart, research director of mobile and consumer devices at Current Analysis, said in a research note shared with our sister site EnterpriseMobileToday.com.

Information security lacking

Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless technologies at The 451 Group, believes that the iPad's combination of a large display with the customized iWork suite of apps for spreadsheets and so on makes it ideal for business use. However, he said the lack of security and management features could cause headaches for mobile managers and IT.

"Just when the iPhone finally became more palatable for IT," he said, "now they have another Apple device to worry about."

For instance, there's no support for setting up a VPN, it's not compatible with ActiveSync or Microsoft Exchange, it doesn't allow for complex password protection and the iPad cannot be remotely wiped or locked if it's lost, Hazelton told EnterpriseMobileToday.com.

"The iPad only supports consumer e-mail services, so if you're getting work e-mail, it's going a third-party server, which is not ideal," he said. "Also, right now, more companies are securing customer and enterprise data on Web sites, but what happens when you move that data from the Web to the iPad?"

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