3 Questions to Ask When Choosing Tablets: Android vs. iPad
“The new iPad” has been around the tech news for the last week, building up and cooling off from its announcement on Wednesday. And whenever Apple puts out a new phone or tablet, we get a flurry of people – both customers and prospects – asking the question: “Should I buy an Android tablet or an iPad?”
And, much like Socrates, we answer questions with more questions. How infuriating is that?
#1 Who are you equipping?
This is not a toy. You’re not buying it because it’s “cool” (right? right!?). You are buying a piece of equipment for your business, and if you’re running paperless service management software, you’re not even buying it for yourself, but for your field technicians and foremen. What functionality do they need to have? It doesn’t need to be sexy. It just needs to work.
#2 What’s the cost to your business?
How much does it cost? The iPad costs $499. A solid 7” Android device (smaller than the iPad, true, but we’re talking functionality, not HD movies!) can be found for $299 - $350. That’s a minimum of $149 dollars difference. And if you’re equipping multiple employees, that cost will add up quickly. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration replacement costs. Many of our customers work outdoors, or on nice hard concrete floors. Hey, have you heard of Otter Boxes?
#3 But don't appearances matter?
Arguably, this could be a branding decision. While we believe the service you provide is more important to branding than the equipment you use, again, who are you equipping? If you think your customers will recognize the difference between a brand name and a “tablet” when a sales person shows up for an estimate, then maybe it’s worth it. Again, what functionality do they need, versus your technicians (and yes, it’s OK for you to have both Android and Apple products within the same building //gasp!/).
Personally, when it comes to picking up a device for our own entertainment, we’re about 70/30 in favor of Androids (literally just did a quick office poll). When it comes to recommending field devices to contractors? We’re on team Android.