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AT&T push iPad to businesses – RIM Playbook already a writeoff?

The second biggest U.S. mobile phone carrier AT&T are going to start pushing the Apple iPad to its business customers. This means Apple will have a healthy viable option outside the consumer market.

KitGuru said last month that we felt that Research In Motion’s (RIM) decision to launch their new tablet called the Playbook without 3G support was going to alienate their core business userbase.

On paper, the Playbook looks fantastic – a Cortex A9 based dual core 1GHZ CPU with 1GB of Ram, twin cameras, conferencing support, wifi, OpenGL. But no 3G support.

This is leaving the business market wide open for Apple, and we recently wrote a story on the Mercedes Benz adoption of the iPad for their sales representatives. This has been a huge success, allowing the employees to close sales while the striking is hot, inside the car.

With AT&T now on the iPad rollercoaster we wonder is the Playbook already on a slippery path to oblivion. AT&T are offering the business iPad sales in stores this month. Gartner Inc have already said that Tablet sales will triple next year as the adoption rate shows no sign of slowing down.

“The majority of knowledge workers cannot use media tablets to replace their notebooks,” Gartner said in the report. “In the enterprise space, for the immediate future, the main use of media tablets is as a notebook companion or a secondary device to take on the road.”

KitGuru says: Are RIM already writing themselves out of the running by not allowing business users to access email outside WiFi hotzones? Or will they see sense and release 3G versions for launch?

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