New iPad unveiled: What it means for IT

Following Apple’s announcement about the release of the new iPad, it’s time for IT departments to prepare for support requests for another popular consumer device.

Last week, Apple unveiled the new iPad (yes, “new iPad” is the device’s official title), which will go on sale Friday, March 16.

As expected, the device is already a hit — the units allotted for an online pre-sale were sold out in less than a week.

What does the new iPad bring to the table? Here’s the key info and specifications:

  1. The earlier version’s screen is replaced with Apple’s Retina display, featuring four times as many pixels as the previous iPad and a resolution similar to the iPhone 4.
  2. The CPU is the same as the dual-core processor in the iPad 2, but the new version gets double the graphics processing power.
  3. The new iPad will also get a network speed boost by supporting 4G LTE.
  4. Pricing is the same as with older models: $499, $599 and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi tablets, respectively, and $629, $729 and $829 for the 4G versions.

Given the expected popularity of the new iPad and the increasing trend of IT consumerization, IT managers should be ready for users to bring these devices into work once they’re available.

One problem that could cause is the company’s network being clogged by users downloading videos, apps or other files over Wi-Fi. Therefore, if those devices will be allowed on the network, companies may want to consider writing policies covering downloads, and monitoring traffic to pinpoint serious bandwidth hogs.

However, there is some good news for IT. Organizations that will support the tablet now have access to a new management tool called Configurator.

The free tool, quietly released by Apple in the Mac App Store, will allow IT departments to prepare up to 30 iOS devices for deployment at a time. It also lets administrators push updates, sync apps and install remote management software on an entire device fleet, as well as divide devices into groups and set policies for each.

Does your IT department support iPads? Share your advice for management in the comments section below.

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