IDG recently did a global survey titled iPad for Business Survey 2012 – looking at usage of the iPad by IT and business decision-makers. The survey has some interesting findings and a lot of good news for Apple in terms of the range of ways the iPad is being put to use by business users, and the way it is replacing a laptop for a significant number of these users.
Here are some of the most notable findings:
— Over 90% of respondents use their iPad at work:
Fully 51% of IT decision-makers say they “always” use their iPad at work (and a further 40% say they sometimes use it at work). Out-of-home usage is even more intense, with 79% of IT decision-makers saying that they “always” use their iPads “on the move”.
— More than 10% of these IT and business decision-makers say their iPad has “completely replaced’ a laptop. A further 54% say the iPad has party replaced their laptop.
— As the image at the top of this post shows, these professionals are using their iPad more for work communication and other work-related activities than for personal communication and leisure activities.
The picture that emerges from this survey involves IT and business professionals using their iPads as dual-purpose work/leisure devices, with a relatively strong emphasis on work functionality, and an extremely heavy emphasis on on the move usage.
— The iPad is also changing the ways many of these users read and take in news and similar content.
Our survey also suggests that tablet computing is transforming patterns of content consumption. iPad-owning IT and business professionals are rapidly migrating away from newspapers and printed books, toward digital alternatives.
— This last finding shows just how versatile a device the iPad is:
For most, the iPad isn’t a substitute for an existing tool or device. Instead, it’s a supplement, albeit one with functionality that overlaps with other devices. As a result, the iPad seems to have carved out a niche for itself at the partial expense of several rival form factors. Relatively large numbers of respondents say that their iPad has “partly replaced” laptops, PCs, smartphones, MP3 players, TV/DVD recorders and even games consoles.
Given the iPad’s capabilities, I don’t find it surprising at all that business professionals are using it so heavily for work – but I do think it’s surprising how quickly the iPad has built up this sort of momentum in the business arena.