Welcome, iPad HD: Office equipment star?

Tomorrow's enterprises will be seeing a lot of what some call the iPad 3, making it something CFOs should know all about.

CFOworld –

With the iPad 3 (or is it iPad HD) about to strike, a series of recently statistics -- disclosed in a wonderfully timely fashion -- illustrates just how much impact Steve Jobs's "Post PC" Apple device is having upon enterprise users. Indeed, in the majority of cases, they wouldn't choose to use a tablet made by anyone else.

This week the iPass Mobile Workforce report is being circulated among the media, and it confirms that a huge chunk of the BYOD mobile workforce is already using a tablet, principally an iPad. Right now, over half of all mobile workers (64%, iPass claims) are using tablets, and this is set to hit 80% within the next 6 months, so they say.

Here's how it's shaping up in terms of platform and adoption:

  • 42.5% of mobile workers are currently using an iPad, with a further 27.7% planning to purchase or intending to receive one in the next 6 months.
  • 6.3% of mobile workers are currently using a Samsung Galaxy tablet, with a further 7.7% planning to purchase or intending to receive one in the next 6 months.
  • 6.5% of mobile workers are currently using an Amazon tablet, though just 4.6 % plan to purchase or intend receiving one in the next 6 months.
  • When it comes to Windows 8 tablets, just 0.7% are already using one (no surprise as it's not available, though players in the space may want to consider this rises to 6.3% in the next 6 months.
  • Then comes RIM's BlackBerry Playbook. This achieves 3.4% and 1.5% now/purchase plans.
  • The Asus Eee Pad, Motorola Xoom, and "other" tablets achieve 1.2%, 1.2% and 3.1% current use, with a respective 2.1%, 1.2% and 5.1% adoption schedule across the next six months.

This report is based on feedback from 1,800 mobile workers worldwide. It claims mobile employees carry 3.5 work devices (up from 2.7 last year).

Additional stats include these: that 61% of mobile workers spend their working days in range of Wi-Fi connections; and carriers need to work a little harder, as there has been a 25% decline in user satisfaction levels for their services.

There will be many readers who aren't prepared to vouchsafe statistics drawn from just one survey. And who can blame these cautious and critical souls?

However, the stunning numbers reflecting tablet use in the enterprise are ably confirmed by a second survey, this time from inMobi: Nearly one-third of mobile Web users told the ad network they plan to purchase Apple's third-generation iPad, and 44% of these wouldn't even consider another brand of tablet.

The accelerating adoption in tablet usage in the enterprise is also likely to be confirmed in a new Zenprise survey this coming Thursday. It seems likely to show us that iPad usage is climbing fast, while also confirming that tablets are dropping onto corporate desktops thick and fast (a clumsy description I already apologize for).

Meanwhile, the distinction between traditional software as applications sales models and software as an online app continues to disintegrate. Even as Microsoft is widely anticipated to be planning the release of Office apps for iPads, other solutions are emerging which could transform the battle order of tomorrow's spreadsheet warriors.

Take, for example, Ascensio System, which this week is introducing the TeamLab Document Editor, calling it the "first online HTML 5-based word processor." This makes it clear that in future apps, particularly online-hosted SaaS (software as a service) apps, will continue to become an ever-increasing standard issue element to the way we transact business today.

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