We all know that iPads have seen major growth with consumers and in the enterprise. But many unexpected markets are just starting to be tapped. Even with the device’s current ubiquity, I have a feeling that we may just be at the tip of the iceberg.


I recently went to a Sunday morning service at the small church I grew up attending. Not much had changed; I saw a lot of familiar faces and the same green hymnals in the pews. But about halfway through the service, I noticed the pastor wasn’t flipping the pages of a Bible on the altar. He was using an iPad, housed in a tasteful cover that matched the rest of the church’s decor.

It isn’t news that the iPad is huge. Yet seeing the device used in such a historically analog setting as my hometown church was a bit of a revelation — no pun intended. Typically when I hear of how iPads are selling like hotcakes in the enterprise sector, I think of them being used to make the paperless office a reality.

But there are huge markets that are still untapped. Pilots recently got the OK from the Federal Aviation Administration to use iPads instead of their charts, which can regularly weigh as much as 20 pounds. And doctors have started to use the iPad to keep track of their schedules and patient notes.

The iPad may seem ubiquitous already, but I have a feeling that we may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

Photo of Pope Benedict XVI with the iPad via the BBC

  1. already a huge hit in asia it will become a monster as it’s much easier to write Asian characters on a touch screen that type on a normal keyboard. It’s going to be the real ‘PC’ of Asia.

  2. Bruce Mitchell Monday, August 1, 2011

    I know Apple is great, and I’m not worried about the Pope, but let us pray there will be more than one iPad chart on board those jets. Just in case.

    1. Colleen Taylor Monday, August 1, 2011

      Great point, Bruce. I was also a tad taken aback when I learned that so many pilots are now using iPads. But then I realized, it’s probably not very safe for them to be flustered by flipping through thousands of pages, either.

      But yes: Consumer electronics are far from fail-safe, so I too hope they have backups!

  3. We’ve certainly seen that trend at Moprise. In a few weeks, we’re releasing our app Coaxion for the iPad, which gives direct SharePoint (and Dropbox) ccess so people can go paperless for meetings, sharing, collaboration, and more. Worth checking out.

  4. Stephen Simpson Monday, August 1, 2011

    The pastor at my current church uses an iPad. He has a pretty slick stand for it as well. Its been pretty amazing to see all the ways tablets are used, even in ways you didnt even think of before…

  5. My pastor uses one, as well as many of my friends who are pastors. In fact, every pastor I’ve talked to is planning on buying one just so they can use the bible apps (plus take notes on, etc.). They’ve even been used in weddings! (crazy I know) Unfortunately for you Android fans, the iPad is the only tablet that I’ve seen used by pastors (and most of the ones I know HAVE Android smartphones). Food for thought.

    1. Colleen Taylor Monday, August 1, 2011

      Thanks for the comment, Darnell. The iPad/Android dichotomy is interesting. In researching this article, I came across a few great-looking iPad apps aimed specifically at clergy — at least for now, it seems the iPad definitely has an edge in this market.

    2. I have NEVER liked Android, smartphone or tablet

      Does your Android smartphone have 960X640 pixels on a 3.5” screen? I have yet to find a Android with a screen this good, in fact, if I look at a LG or another phone with LESS pixels, I see the pixels now!

      Who knows, they may find out how to get even more pixels in the 5

      they may be able to cram 980X640, who knows!

      *I am not a apple fanboy, my opnion on phones has changed A LOT since I got a iPhone 4

  6. John Harrington, Jr. Monday, August 1, 2011

    Your tip of the iceburg presumption couldn’t be more accurate; more and more people are hopping aboard the tablet express every day. The app-enabled devices offer the same versatility of a laptop with much fewer strings attached. No matter what line of business you are involved in you’ll likely find a use for these tablets. View this webinar recording if you are interested in finding out how you can enable your employees to securely access email, contacts, calendars and corporate data from their iPads: http://bit.ly/ovkBzR

  7. Exactly right. Most businesses (as a good Catholic, I say that rhetorically – no commentary intended on the church) are still in initial stages of veneering what they have always done to take advantage of mobile. As that continues (see: flight decks, pulpits, point-of-sale clerks, etc), we’ll see genuine innovation and disruption of operating and business models. Effect in emerging markets and start-ups will only be amplified – chance to leap-frog into the postdigital era

    1. Colleen Taylor Monday, August 1, 2011

      Indeed, Bill! It’s certainly a fun time to be watching all this stuff evolve. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Great Pope moved into the 21st century with an ipad while still maintaining a ban on female clergy and married male clergy.

    1. Bruce Mitchell Monday, August 1, 2011

      One step forward, two steps back. As usual.

    2. Shakir Razak Monday, August 1, 2011


      Yeah, I especially like how thechurch got over thinking it/earth were the centre of the universe, yet you still think you(/your values) should be!

      Kind regards,

      Shakir Razak

  9. when the iPad matches Windows 7’s 400 million, or Android’s 550,000 activations per day, then sure

    1. Randolph Kirkpatrick Tuesday, August 2, 2011

      OK then. Let’s meet back in 3 years, shall we?

    2. Apple sold 22 million or an average of 512,000 iOS devices (iPads, iPhones & iPod touches) per day in 43 days up till July 19th and the iPad by itself sold 9.5 million last quarter vs 30 million Android devices from all manufacturers combined in the last quarter so it’s getting there.

  10. I use my iPad and an app called OnSong to display auto-scrolling sheet music, guitar tabs and lyrics on my music stand during practices and services at my local church.

    The possibility of not having to chop down a tree every time you get the music ready for a gig, being able to transpose guitar tabs at the touch of a finger, import new guitar tabs direct from the web (and soon hopefully straight from CCLI) is a revelation.  

    This particular app also supports VGA out from the iPad to display duplicates of the music on other muso’s VGA flat screens so they all scroll simultaneously as you scroll or shared via Bluetooth or wifi to other iPads and iPhones up the front or even formatted word slides to a projector for the congregation all controlled with an optional foot switch is mind-blowing. Self-illuminated music too courtesy of the iPad in dark venues.

    You are quite right, we have only scraped the surface of what this new form factor and Multi-touch interface makes possible.


  11. Lindsworth Horatio Deer Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    iPad a huge hit. I guess Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was onto something when he debuted the idea of a Tablet back in 2001. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, breathed life into this concept when he made the Apple iPad and thus the idea of Tablet (not Tablet PC’s) a reality.

    Copycats abound to fill all niche markets. But Aple started the fire!!!



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