The iPad Could Hurt Business PC Sales, Too

iPad Gmail

Apple’s iPad has already begun to cut into consumer PC sales, according to market research firm Gartner, and we could begin seeing the effects on Microsoft’s Windows business this quarter. But Microsoft still has the enterprise locked up, right?

Maybe not. This morning, AT&T announced that it would begin selling iPads directly to businesses through its Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions group on October 28.

Direct sales will only be available to businesses who pay their employees’ AT&T Wireless bills, which is a small slice–according to 2009 research conducted by Microsoft as part of its Phone 7 development plans, only about 7% of employees receive reimbursement for their smartphone bills.

Still, this is further evidence that the iPad, like the iPhone before it, is making inroads into the enterprise. And companies buying iPads for their mobile employees are probably not going to buy Windows notebooks loaded up with Office applications.

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