News Bytes: Enterprise use inspires iPad Air; 10M BBM downloads on first day; more


>> Apple's iPad Air designed for the enterprise

With lots of power and a light, thin hardware, the new iPad Air appears to be designed with business use in mind, writes technology journalist Ryan Faas. In a CITEworld article, Faas explains how the video introducing the iPad Air highlighted the use of the iPad as a professional tool. "One of Tim Cook's most interesting comments was that Apple couldn't have imagined all the ways its customers have used the iPad. One gets the impression that even Apple didn't realize how popular the iPad would be in professional and business settings," Faas opines. Read more of Faas' iPad observations.

[More on Apple in the enterprise: Roadnet launches MobileCast fleet tracking app for iOS | iPad is king of enterprise tablets]

>> Propelics develops enterprise mobile apps for Payless, Merck, Hallmark and others

San Jose, Calif.-based Propelics is developing enterprise mobile apps for an impressive list of customers, including Payless Shoesource, Merck, Family Dollar, Wells Fargo and Hallmark, reports Heather Clancy in a recent ZDNet article. The firm sends its personnel to the company to find out how it can develop enterprise mobile apps to meet its specific needs. For example, it sent a team to one client to ride along with its delivery riders. The team discovered that replacement riders took an extra four hours to make deliveries because they didn't know the route as well and didn't have access to shortcuts. So Propelics developed a mobile app with route tips that saved the company $6 million to $7 million in overtime, related Eric Carlson, one of the company's partners. Read more on Propelics.

[More on enterprise mobile apps: Samsung, Genband team on mobile unified communications | Good Technology: Enterprise app adoption surges 42% in Q3]

>> BlackBerry sees 10 million BBM downloads on first day

BlackBerry proclaimed that its new BBM messaging app, which opens up the platform to Android and Apple users, was downloaded 10 million times in the first day of its availability, writes Andrew Bocking, executive vice president for BBM, in a blog. As reported by FierceMobileIT, BlackBerry began rolling out the BBM Messenger app for iOS and Android on Monday after suspending the launch in September because a leaked version surfaced and wreaked havoc with its release schedule. Apparently, the delay has not dampened enthusiasm for the messaging app. "The BBM app for iPhone has been optimized for iOS7. We also added a new BBM chat widget in the BBM app for Android. This new feature lets you stay engaged in chats without even having to open the app. It's a great new feature," Bocking explains. Read more on the BBM Messenger release.

[More on BlackBerry: BlackBerry Messenger for Android, iOS finally resumes rollout | BlackBerry's death notice premature]

>> Close to half of US adults own either a tablet or e-reader, says Pew poll

More than one-third of American adults own tablets and more than a quarter own e-readers, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Combined, the percentage of U.S. adults owning a tablet or e-reader is 43 percent. More than half of householders earning $75,000 or more now have tablets--up from 25 percent last year--and 38 percent of this income group have e-readers, up from 19 percent last year. For the survey, Pew polled 6,224 U.S. adults ages 16 and older. Read more about the Pew tablet/e-reader survey.

[More on tablet use: Revel integrates PayPal support into retailer POS solution for iPad | Google's Schmidt 'surprised' by enterprise tablet adoption]

>> Infonetics: M2M revenue to top $31 billion by 2017

Machine-to-machine communications revenue is forecast by Infonetics to reach $31 billion in 2017, up from $15 billion last year. Total M2M connections are expected to exceed four billion by 2017, up from 1.4 billion last year. "Cellular networks represent the most meaningful revenue opportunity for operators, but by far the most popular way to connect to M2M services is via PAN (personal area network) wireless technologies, such as WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and IP500, which do not generate connection revenue. It's critical that mobile operators incorporate a broader view of the various M2M access technologies into their M2M strategies," observes Godfrey Chua, head of Infonetics' M2M and Connected World program. Read more about Infonetics' M2M stats.

[More on M2M: Cloud-based commercial fleet telematics units to reach 16.8 million by 2018 | Mobile, fixed barcode scanners for industrial use to generate $775 million in revenues by 2018]