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With tablet computers growing in popularity, it is becoming the preferred choice for most people when it comes to web surfing and media consumption. Now with a reported 60 million users worldwide, it was inevitable that it would play a part in our working lives with more companies and professionals across the world now investing in tablet computers. There are many examples of iPads in particular being introduced into working spaces such as in the Dutch Senate and with airlines, signalling its integration into our day-to-day working lives.
Now, a study compiled by IDG Connect, which analysed the habits of professionals across each continent, found that an average of 89 per cent of professionals now use their tablet device for work communication. The majority of the devices used are personally owned, with the percentage of businesses providing the device to its employees ranging from 47 per cent to 10 per cent. The majority of people who responded said that they purchased an iPad because they liked its functionality with an average of 60 per cent of users in all territories (except Australia) citing this reason. Only 21 per cent of those based in Australia and New Zealand mentioned this as a reason for purchasing an iPad.
Surprisingly the largest percentage of professionals who use their iPads at work came from both South America and Africa: 70 per cent of professionals from both regions said that this was the case. This is in comparison to other territories which hovered around the 40 per cent mark with the exception of America (67 per cent) and Europe (60 per cent).
Most professionals, a group IDG define in their report as “IT decision-makers”, use their iPads while they are on the move with 79 per cent confirming that they always use it while travelling. 51 per cent stated that they always use the tablet device while they’re at work while 54 per cent stated that they always use it while at home. This reflects how connected people are with their working lives irrespective of their location. In comparison to other multimedia devices, unsurprisingly the vast majority of those surveyed said that tablets only partly replaced devices such as laptops (54 per cent) MP3 players (31 per cent) and interestingly smartphones (43 per cent). The latter could be because smartphones have now become multimedia devices instead of just making phone calls and sending SMS messages. The larger screen especially would make it a more preferred medium for media consumption over smartphones.
The obvious conclusion that can be taken from this is that tablet computers are becoming a greater part of our lives and that developers need to incorporate it into their strategies However, the limitations of this survey is that it only analyses iPads. While it’s the most prominent platform, it would be interesting to see what the entire tablet use is across the world and whether other devices or brands would see the same levels of use within a workplace.
Still, the findings on offer do suggest that while tablets won’t replace laptops or computers completely, they will play a greater part in how we do business and make our professions footloose and flexible.