Apple iPad's Major Lure Is Work Related, Says Survey

The iPad's major draw may be work related, according to a survey from Sybase. When asked which tasks they'd most use an iPad-type device for, the majority of respondents said work purposes - which could touch an already sore spot for enterprise IT staff.

A desire to better work on the go is the No. 1 factor piquing interest in the Apple iPad, according to a March 23 report from enterprise solutions provider Sybase.

In a survey of consumers, Sybase asked respondents which tasks they would be most likely to perform if they owned a tablet device such as the iPad. More than half (52 percent) said that they'd use it for conducting work, while another 20 percent said they'd use it for business presentations.
Watching movies, television and videos garnered 48.2 percent of the vote, while 35.4 percent named gaming and other activities.
Additionally, nearly three-quarters of the smartphone users surveyed said they believed smartphones and devices such as the iPad led to greater productivity at work and, overall, expressed a desire for greater access to productivity-enhancing tools.
When asked what percentage of their company's applications they could currently access on their mobile phones, 72.3 percent answered "less than 10 percent," while only 3.5 percent said "more than 75 percent." When asked the impact they thought having access to twice the applications or information would have, 67.6 percent said it would make them "more productive and better at my job."
Another 21.1 percent didn't expect greater access to have any effect and 2.3 percent said the effects would likely be negative.
iPhones in the enterprise have been a point of debate for years, with many enterprises, primarily citing security concerns, resisting worker's calls for IT to support the devices. Will the iPad double the pressure on IT staffs - or finally convince them to support the iPhone OS?
"I'm skeptical of the iPad as a work-related device," analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK. "Without keyboard input, workers can't create content comfortably enough to make it worthwhile. The iPad does have an optional keyboard, but the sum total is more cumbersome than just a small clamshell notebook."
Kay added that even consumers who think they want an iPad still haven't had a chance to try one out, so it's hard to say what will happen.
"For people who just send short texts, [doing without a keyboard] can be done. I do it on my iPhone now," Kay said. "But for real office productivity, workers need a better input mechanism."