As we progress through Citrix Summit and Synergy week we are extremely excited about the vast array of mobile and tablet devices that are being announced or are soon-to-be released by device manufacturers. Many, like Apple’s iPad, are focused on the consumer, while a few, like the Cisco Cius, Avaya Flare, HP Slate and Blackberry Playbook are more targeted at the Enterprise space. Some tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak and HP’s WebOS tablet appear to target the middle ground of prosumers who will use the device for work and play. Device vendors are scrambling to either enter the tablet space and stake their claim to a significant share of the market or outdo one another in the smartphone race, constantly inching ever closer to the ideal “nirvana” device. Each is trying to attack the market by either differentiating on hardware capabilities or target user or some combination of these. Our aim is to deliver a Citrix Receiver commensurate with the release of each of these key devices.
Apple has taken the early lead in the tablet arena with its wildly successful iPad. Even though they almost exclusively target and market to the consumer, they realized one key thing – consumers are Enterprise users too and those users are bringing their devices to work in droves. With Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp and Receiver, IT has the built-in flexibility to provide Windows desktops and apps to iPad users from the first day they bring their devices to work. We have already seen iPad, with over 200,000 downloads of Citrix Receiver, overtake all mobile Receivers in total downloads YTD with the exception of Receiver for iPhone due only to the fact that iPad launched in April of this year and iPhone Receiver has been available longer. The main difference is sheer screen size. Users are finding that they can do meaningful work with Receiver for iPad and a full Windows 7 desktop served up by XenDesktop. I have personally tried this out and find that I can replace my notebook on short trips or in meetings and simply access my XenDesktop via Receiver for iPad. The next version of Receiver for iPad will take the user experience even further as we leverage the upcoming multi-tasking capabilities that the iOS will bring to the popular tablet.
The tablet space is about to get crowded and not just with the devices I mentioned above. Looking around the Web there are rumors or announcements of tablets coming from almost every vendor we’ve heard of and from some that are brand new. There are numerous Android tablets coming even before the 3.0 release of the OS which is the one that explicitly supports tablet devices. It seems that manufacturers of Android tablets can’t wait for 3.0 to enter the market. They feel the pressure from Apple and are jumping into the market this quarter to get a piece of the upcoming holiday season tablet shopping frenzy. Beyond Android we’ll see a plethora of platforms from various vendors ranging from QNX to Chrome to even Windows 7 based devices.
The exciting part for Citrix is that it all poses a great opportunity to expand our reach as more and more Receiver-ready devices become available. Users will be able to easily and readily transition between work and play by leveraging Receiver to access their business critical Windows desktops and applications via XenDesktop and XenApp. We are working very closely with many tablet vendors already to ensure that the combined experience is the best it can be and are targeting a Citrix Receiver for each of the main devices that are targeted for launch. Wherever possible we will take advantage of special OS extensions or hardware capabilities and incorporate unique features into Receiver. The new mobile Receivers will touch-enable any Windows app on any touch capable tablet or smartphone. With HDX advancements, users will be able to seamlessly interact with not only productivity apps, but resource and graphic intensive apps and even legacy applications never designed to run on touch-enabled devices. We are entering a new phase in ubiquitous connectivity for users with a new class of portable devices that include screen sizes and capabilities that, when combined with Citrix Receiver, enable them to truly play, work and be productive from anywhere.
On the Smartphone end of things our Blackberry Receiver downloads have shot up dramatically lately as business and IT professionals take advantage of our latest offering. After our latest Blackberry Receiver was released we saw an amazing uptick of 170% in downloads compared to July. We expect the numbers to continue to stay high through the end of the year. Our base Android Receiver, when released later this quarter, will work on both Android phones and tablets and configure its UI according to the available screen real estate. Android Receiver downloads were also quite strong in August showing a 2x improvement over July. By far, Receiver for iPhone is our most popular Receiver download for smartphones with around 250,000 downloads YTD. On the Windows side of things we have our standby Windows Mobile Receiver which has been downloaded ¼ as often as the iPhone Receiver during each of the last 5 months. It seems that Windows handheld users are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. However, due to initial limitations in access to the underlying networking layers of this platform, it is currently unclear if or when Citrix Receiver can be delivered for Windows Phone 7 devices.
As the tablet and smartphone device list continues to expand we see a great opportunity to touch-enable fully functional Windows apps and desktops in these mobile platforms and enable their users to become fully productive and independent regardless of which device they choose. The outlook has never been brighter for users who are entering an exciting new era of freedom to work and play from literally anywhere.