Apple's iPad may still be the top tablet in the U.S. and worldwide markets, but it doesn't seem to be catching on among business users, a report issued this week by Forrester Research suggests.
The company's survey of 9,766 global information workers found that just 26 percent were pining for an iPad, while 12 percent were using one. A fairly larger share, 32 percent, wanted a Windows 8-based tablet, such as Microsoft's Surface, while only 2 percent actually had one.
Opening for Windows
Forrester projects based on its research that "200 million global information workers want Windows tablets." Twelve percent of those surveyed said they wanted an Android-based tablet, such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab, while 13 percent specified another platform.
The report, which we obtained from Forrester on Friday, shows much better news for Apple in the smartphone arena. The iPhone had the highest desirability rating among those surveyed, 33 percent, with 16 percent already using an iPhone at work. Android phones were second most popular with 22 percent (18 percent current use), followed by 10 percent who would like a Windows-based device for work (3 percent current use).
In another sign that the BlackBerry platform is in trouble -- business was once its forte -- the number of current and intended users was the same in the survey, at 7 percent.
Forrester projects that 208 million global information workers would like iPhones.
The desire factor is important, Forrester said, since more companies are implementing "bring your own device" policies, giving employees their choice of mobile devices. Forrester says more companies are paying for their employees' phone and data charges, and we may be near "the crossover point where your company pays for more smartphones than employees do."
So with more consumers' picking both their personal and work phones, adding features that make devices attractive for both uses is crucial. The iPad seems to be lacking in business use since it's short on productivity software and security features, making it more of a toy than a tool.
"It doesn't comply (generally) with existing security, management, warranty, or software policies," said technology consultant Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group. "The iPad is still largely non-compliant and Windows remains the standard in most companies."
Consistency Is Key
The fact that the Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets are integrated with the operating system for desktop computers is also a business boost for Microsoft.
"IT doesn't like a lot of variety, they have to keep this stuff running and they have had their resources to do that for years," Enderle said. "So they try to drive high consistency so they aren't overwhelmed with work."
Forrester found that 21 percent of those surveyed used tablets "at least weekly" for work, far less than the 63 percent using laptops and 84 percent using desktop computers. Fifty-nine percent still use the phone on their desk, while 48 percent use smartphones.