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Background – The rapid rise, and rise of mobile devices
The uptake of tablet devices in particular iPads has taken the world by storm. A recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook illustrates the exponential uptake of the iPad. It took five years to sell 22 million iPods and three years to sell 22 million iPhone’s. By comparison in less than two years since its release over 55 million iPad’s have sold and there are no sign of this trend abating especially with the launch of the newest version.
How are they being used?
But how are people interacting with these devices? Is it necessary to provide employees with iPads or allow them to use their own for work purposes? Are we sacrificing competitive advantage or productivity by not jumping on the bandwagon? Should our websites be optimised for mobile devices and are we going to miss the boat by not providing our customers with apps?
All these questions are being asked by professionals as we attempt to get our head around this technology shift. The problem is that once a study is completed it is almost immediately out of date due to the incredible rate of adoption.
From an international perspective we can safely say two things:
- There has been a significant uptake in tablet devices.
- Apple currently dominates the international market with the iPad.
New Zealand is no exception, NBR reports tablet shipments increased 199 percent from quarter one to quarter three 2011 and Apple currently holds market share at 79 percent.
How are tablets (and other mobile devices) used professionally?
But what about the professional market?
In May 2011 iPass surveyed 3700 employees from 1100 companies that use mobile devices for work (laptops, mobile phones and tablet devices). According to the study only 27 percent of workers received tablet computers from their employers but 41 percent have tablet devices (expected to rise to 75 percent by the end of 2011) and 87 percent of these were using a tablet for professional purposes.
Studies yield conflicting information
Unfortunately when it comes to usage, studies have produced conflicting information. For instance a McKinsey study in November claimed that iPads rarely left people’s homes with 70 percent of usage in the living room, alternatively an IDG connect study around the same time claims iPads are a truly mobile device with 79 percent frequently taking them on the road with them.
So we must take these studies with a grain of salt and look for trends and data a bit closer to home and from our own industries to get a clearer picture.
Closer to home – The tablet in Australia
A recent study undertaken by Thomson Reuters Australia on tablet usage and adoption among Legal, Tax and Accounting professionals may give a clearer indication of the direction these industries in New Zealand may be heading.
Tablet devices have infiltrated the home and the workplace, 67 percent of respondents either owned a tablet or worked with someone who did; 40 percent of those who did not were planning on adopting them in a professional capacity within the next 12 months. Currently 27 percent of workplaces have a quarter of their employees or more using tablets. When asked the main benefits of tablets 62 percent of respondents claimed it was working on the move, closely followed by internet browsing at 49 percent.
That’s all very well and interesting but not US or more specifically YOU!