Apple's iPad and other touch-screen computers will be popular among consumers, but fewer than 10 percent of PCs sold to enterprises in 2015 for mainstream knowledge workers will have touch screens, Gartner predicts based on its research. Gartner says the muscle memory of mouse users and the potential problems of moving one's hands from the keyboard to the mouse will pose barriers for knowledge workers. Still, expect consumers to bring their touch devices with them for use in the workplace.
Apple's iPad and rival touch-screen computers will be popular among
consumers, but expect fewer than 10 percent of PCs sold to enterprises in 2015
for mainstream knowledge workers to have touch screens, according to research
Tablets will have slower uptake in the enterprise thanks to heavy
requirements for typing and text input, Gartner analysts said April 7.
Gartner argued that the "muscle memory" of mouse users and the potential
problems of moving one's hands from the keyboard to the mouse will pose barriers
for knowledge workers. Moreover, the wealth of traditional enterprise
applications that don't use touch technology will make many enterprises
disregard the business case for adding touch to PC hardware standards.
Rather, consumers and education will be the earliest adopters of
touch-enabled computers, Gartner predicted.
"By 2015, we expect more than 50 percent of PCs purchased for users
under the age of 15 will have touch screens, up from fewer than 2 percent in
2009," said Gartner analyst Leslie Fiering.
iPads haven't even been on the market for a week, but Apple has already sold
more than 300,000
of the WiFi-only machines.
That has the media circus hopping with reports of additional tablets, such
as HP's Slate
and the reported
The iPad has, in essence, sparked a gold rush among hardware manufacturers
and application developers looking to fuel the machines with games, social
networking and other applications that enable users to consume media in a fun,
The iPad is essentially a version of Apple's iPhone, with a larger user
interface on which users can practice multitouch activities. iPhone users who play with the iPad
for the first time are reported to
be immediately comfortable with its functionality.
Fiering said movies, newspapers and ebooks will join games as leading target
applications for the iPad and other tablets. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal's
April 7 review of iPad applications
focuses largely on applications for
news, magazines, entertainment and music. Several blogs meanwhile are raving about Netflix's iPad application.
Success for these applications will prove the content delivery model, paving
the way for touch functionality in other areas.
Of course, iPads and like devices could sneak into businesses by being
brought in by employees, regardless of corporate rules. After all, people don't
leave their smartphones at home, so don't expect them to leave tablets home if
they get comfortable bringing them everywhere.
Tablet computers appear to be marked for consumerization, Gartner's name for
the trend in which new technology finds purchase among consumers before being
adopted for use by enterprises.
"As with many recent technological advances, touch adoption will be led
by consumers and only gradually get accepted by the enterprise," Fiering
said. "What will be different here is the expected widespread adoption of
touch by education, so that an entire generation will graduate within the next
10 to 15 years for whom touch input is totally natural."