World Domination One iPad at a Time!

Danny is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Yea, Yea, Yea.  We have heard all the statistics:  94% of Fortune 500 companies reviewing or deploying iPad.  12 million sold in the most recent quarter and 67 million sold to date.  Blah Blah Blah.  This is all part of the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) marketing machine right?  Apple isn’t really changing anything, other than how we consume content.  This isn’t the real world.  This is the financial world of P/E ratios and talking heads.  What's happening in the real world?  How is this technology actually being used?  Glad you asked. 

Are You Ready For Some Football?

The sport of football is steeped in tradition.  The Thanksgiving Day game.  The rivalries.  The tailgate parties.  The jerseys.  Super Bowl Sunday.  Season tickets.  Team colors.  The mascots.  The body paint.  Fans braving freezing temperatures to support their favorite team.  The Terrible Towel.  The iPad.  Wait…What!?! 

Recent reports indicate that more than 10 NFL teams have replaced their playbooks with the Apple iPad.  The iPad is easily secured, tailor made for traveling, update-able and inexpensive.   The NFL teams found that they had greater flexibility with the iPad.  They can now share plays and scouting reports, review game films, and even push specific content to specific players or positions. 

The venerable playbook, it seems, is going the way of the rotary phone, the LP, the VHS and the typewriter (ask your parents about these kids, if you don’t remember). 

This is just the latest example in a long line of innovations that are now possible because of the iPad. 

Turn the Page

Marvel Comics, now a division of Disney (NYSE: DIS) has launched a number of their most popular graphic novels on iPad.  Now, those that are fans of the comics can consume them on iPad, while those that are fans of the movies can go back and discover the original stories for the first time.  The X-Men, Spider-man, The Avengers, now transferred to a medium that actually improves on the original in stunning retina display. 

Disney isn’t stopping there.  Recent reports indicate that iPads are being used at Walt Disney World in Orlando to test a new radio-frequency ID (RFID) based FastPass system that may replace the current paper Fastpass system. Die-hard Disney fans purchase the paper FastPass and make reservations to ride the more popular rides during a one-hour window without having to stand in line.  The testing is said to have commenced and it would allow guests to schedule ride times well in advance of their visit. 

Play Nice!

Apple has indicated their willingness to accommodate big corporate buyers in ways not seen before.  Former CEO Steve Jobs famously referred to Chief Information Officers in corporations as “orifices.”  Under CEO Tim Cook that has changed.  Recent reports indicate that 94 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are either testing or deploying the iPad and 70 percent of the Global 500 companies are testing or deploying them as well.  Cook has said they are working with Fortune 500 companies to get the iPad certified for use in the enterprise. 

The Science Guy

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) a medical device manufacturer is reported to have purchased and distributed over 4,500 iPads to their field sales personnel by the end of last year.  The touch screen allows users to spin, zoom and rotate complicated device models and run through interactive simulations.  They have also developed apps that assist physicians in teaching patients about cardio-vascular disease. 

“Trying to show innovative therapies in a way that is easy to understand and see was challenging in the old world, particularly as health care professionals’ time was increasingly difficult to come by,” notes Rich Adduci, Boston Scientific’s Chief Intelligence Officer. “When we saw Steve Jobs walk out on that stage with the iPad, we all thought, ‘that’s it!’.”

Got a Light?

General Electric (NYSE: GE) is not only using iPads and iPhones, they are one the featured profiles on the Apple website. 

“We were early adopters of mobile technology,” says Dayan Anandappa, Director of Digital Technologies and Collaboration. “Not just for email, but for scheduling, productivity, and getting content anywhere. Before iPhone, travel and meetings always required a laptop. Now you’re no longer tethered to your location — and you’re still productive….GE has some of the best technologies in the world, and now we have the mobile platform to do something different.” 

Fly the Friendly Skies

United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) is one of a number of airlines that are doing away with the flight bag and replacing it with the iPad.  Flight bags contain weather information, navigational charts, handbooks, logbooks and the flight checklist.  Each flight bag can weigh upwards of 38 pounds.  United has committed to a full rollout of 11,000 iPads to United and Continental pilots.  United estimates that this will save 1,900 trees and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons.  Saving money and good for the environment. 

Fries With That?

Finally, some restaurants are replacing their paper menus with the iPad as an interactive menu.  One such restaurant is Stacked.  In May, they were recognized by the National Restaurant Association at its annual Chicago food show for pioneering what is being touted as the industry's first successful iPad ordering system.  The iPad's touch-screen technology allows customers to control their dining experience -- from delivery of the first drink to type of burger toppings to timing of the check. 

Foolish Bottom Line

The train has not yet left the station.  There are still aging technologies left to replace.  Where will all this end?  Who knows?  As long as there is innovation, venerable icons such as the LP and the rotary phone will be replaced by newer and presumable better technology, and Apple investors will likely prosper.  The iPad has only been in existence for less than three years.  What other worlds will they conquer?  We don’t know, but it appears that Apple is set on no less than world domination, one iPad at a time!


 Danny Vena still owns LP's as well as shares of Apple and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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