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Strong U.S. Business Interest in iPad

Apple said that 50% of the Fortune 100 companies were deploying or testing the iPad.

U.S. companies are showing a great deal of interest in the iPad and some are considering replacing their employees' laptops with Apple's tablet computer, telecom giant AT&T said on July 22.

Apple COO Tim Cook said during Apple's earnings call on July 20 that more than 80% of the Fortune 100 companies and over 60% of the Fortune 500 were "deploying or piloting" the iPhone and over 60% of the Fortune 500.

Cook said that 50% of the Fortune 100 companies were deploying or testing the iPad.

AT&T chief financial officer Richard Lindner said that U.S. businesses had initially been reluctant to adopt the iPhone when it debuted three years ago but have shown no such hesitation with the iPad. AT&T is the exclusive 3G carrier for the devices in the United States.

"When we first introduced the iPhone, businesses and CIOs (chief information officers) of our business customers were reluctant," Lindner said in a conference call with analysts. "They kind of pushed back on bringing the iPhone into their infrastructure," he said. "Over time, that has changed dramatically."

Lindner said U.S. companies have readily embraced the iPad, which hit stores in April.

"Businesses see the opportunity in many cases to use the iPad potentially as laptops for many of their people that travel," he added.

Apple said on July 20 that it had sold 3.27 million iPads in the third quarter of its fiscal year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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