Cisco announced its Android-based Cius tablet will finally go on sale for $750 on July 31.
Compared to the starting price of $499 for the popular iPad 2, the Cius will seem expensive. However, Cisco has a strong enterprise following and has named business customers among early Cius users who apparently see the value of a new AppHQ set of applications built specially for the Cius.
The Cius tablet from Cisco Systems on its docking station
AppHQ is designed to help IT create, manage and deploy tablet applications in their businesses, Cisco said in a statement.
AppHQ will also help companies create private app storefronts for their employees to find, publish and buy applications for business use, a Cisco spokeswoman said. Developers will also have tools to create, test and market apps, while IT managers will have the ability to control which apps can be used on the Cius, she added. IT managers can also select from about 200,000 applications in the Android Marketplace.
When Cius was first announced in June 2010, it was described as offering integration to Cisco 's collaboration applications which are valued by businesses. Today, Cisco said Cius is integrated with several Cisco products, including Webex meeting software, Quad social software , Jabber messaging and TelePresence , which provides real-time videoconferencing.
Early adopter Orlando Portale, CIO at Palomar Pomerado Health , said in a statement that Cius gives doctors "a better collaboration tool with access to real-time data, regardless of location, in order to help them make more timely decisions." He said Palomar has built an app called Medication Information Anytime Anywhere, which pulls patient records from disparate facilities on demand and lets doctors consult via email and videoconferencing as they view the patient information.
Cisco also named CDW, Nervecentre Software, Nottingham University Hospitals, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Verizon as customers using Cius.
The 7-in. Cius runs Android 2.2 and weighs 1.5 pounds. It uses the low-power Intel Atom Z615 chip, with a 1.2 GHz processing speed. Suppliers said Cius will be upgraded to Android 3.0, Honeycomb, but Cisco has not confirmed when or how the upgrade would occur.
Cisco said the $750 Cius price can be reduced to below $700 with a Triple V (Voice, Video and Virtualization) promotion available through October, but further details were not announced.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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