Corporate Tablet Buyers Have Eyes Only for Apple-at Least for Now

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IT Business Edge contributor Carl Weinschenk last month wrote that corporate dominance for Apple's iPad was far from assured, thanks to a slew of emerging competitors from the likes of Cisco, Research in Motion, HP and Dell.


Yet a recent survey from Changewave Research found corporate buyers have eyes only for Apple, at least for now. The number of companies providing employees with tablets has reached 7 percent, up a percentage point since Changewave's last survey in August. Apple commands 82 percent of that sample, followed by HP's Slate (11 percent) and Dell's Streak (7 percent). Apple far outpaces these rivals in those who say they are very satisfied (69 percent) and somewhat satisfied (28 percent) with their devices.


Fourteen percent of companies plan to buy tablets for their employees in 2011's first quarter, according to the survey, which Changewave calls "an explosive surge in demand." Of those companies, 78 percent plan to buy iPads. The numbers are much lower for Dell (9 percent), RIM (9 percent), HP (8 percent) and Samsung (4 percent).Some companies will buy from more than one vendor, which is why the numbers add up to more than 100 percent.


In what I found to be one of the most interesting data points of the survey, Changewave found 38 percent of respondents plan to use iPads as laptop replacements, up from 25 percent in August. While laptop replacement was only the sixth most popular business function for iPads (behind Internet access, checking e-mail, working away from the office, sales support and customer presentations), it saw the biggest percentage increase from the prior survey.


In a great example of understatement, Changewave says this trend "has huge implications."

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