An Explosion in Corporate Tablet Demand

Back in an August 2010 ChangeWave survey we found corporate demand for Apple iPads was on the rise. Since that time, additional tablet devices have become available from competitors and others are on their way.

A November ChangeWave survey of 1,641 business IT buyers has taken a close-up look at 1st Quarter corporate tablet demand. In addition, the survey looked at how businesses are currently making use of the industry leader – the Apple iPad.

Snapshot of the Current Corporate Tablet Market

In terms of current usage, 7% of corporate respondents now say their company provides employees with Tablet devices – up 1-pt since our previous survey in August.

The Apple iPad (82%) remains by far the most popular Tablet for business purposes. H-P (e.g., Slate; 11%) and Dell (e.g., Streak; 7%) are also showing some traction among corporate users – but both remain far behind Apple’s overwhelming share of the market.

Customer Satisfaction. Similar to what we’ve seen in other Apple product areas, the iPad’s satisfaction ratings are outstanding – with 69% of corporate users saying their company is Very Satisfied and another 28% Somewhat Satisfied with the Apple device.

Here’s how the iPad stacks up against H-P and Dell’s corporate tablet ratings:

A 1st Quarter Explosion in Corporate Tablet Demand

While 7% of business respondents say their company currently provide employees with tablet devices, an astonishing 14% of businesses report their company will be buying Tablets in 1st Quarter 2011.

In other words, the total number of companies making use of tablet devices is set to double in just the next three months – an explosive surge in demand going forward.

The Overwhelming Choice

Despite the flood of new Tablets hitting the market, the Apple iPad remains the overwhelming choice of business buyers going forward – with nearly four-in-five (78%) corporate respondents saying their company plans to purchase Apple iPads.

Who is the manufacturer of the Tablets your company is planning on buying?

Although the release of the RIM Playbook isn’t expected until late-1st Quarter 2011, RIM (9%) is now tied with Dell (9%) for second place in terms of future buying – a positive development for the Canadian manufacturer. H-P (8%) ranks in third place, just a point behind.

Corporate Usage of The iPad

To better understand how companies are currently making use of iPads, we asked respondents to tell us which business functions they are using their iPads for.

A comparison of our November survey results with a previous ChangeWave corporate survey in August reveals significant increases over the past three months for each of the top six corporate usages of the iPad.

Such an across the board increase in usage is a good indicator of the extent to which tablets have proven valuable to current corporate users.

Below are the six most popular business functions for the iPad reported to us back in August, in comparison to the current corporate survey:

Corporate usage has risen for each of these 6 business functions. And while Internet Access (73%; up 18-pts), Checking Email (69%; up 12-pts), and Working Away From the Office (67%; up 15-pts) remain the top three, we’re also seeing increased usage of the iPad for Sales Support (46%; up 6-pts) and Customer Presentations (45%;up 6-pts).

That said, the biggest percentage jump of all since August lies in the number of businesses who report they are using the iPad for Laptop Replacement (38%: up 13-pts) – a trend that has huge implications and which we’ll be tracking closely in future ChangeWave surveys.

Our latest Corporate Spending Survey – completed November 22, 2010 – also focuses on business smart phone demand, PC buying plans, and the overall IT spending outlook for 1st Quarter 2011, including:

• A Look at Future PC Demand: Dell vs. Hewlett-Packard vs. Apple

• Winning and Losing Smart Phone Manufacturers – including HTC, Motorola, Apple, Research In Motion, Palm, and Samsung, among others

• An early look at corporate interest in Windows Phone 7, as well as demand for the Google Android OS, Apple iOS, and BlackBerry OS

• Preferred wireless service providers for Tablets – Verizon vs. AT&T

• Projected IT Spending Trends for Next Quarter and Current Quarter

The complete ChangeWave report is available here.

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