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Sybase Study Reveals U.S. Consumers' Reasons for Using Apple iPad

The Apple iPad is the first computer designed purely for hand-held mode

iPad on Ulitzer

Just over one week away from the launch of the Apple iPad, Sybase has announced the results of a survey on mobile device usage, commissioned by Sybase and conducted by Zogby International. The survey, which was compiled from an online survey of 2443 adults with a mobile phone, 770 of which own smart phones, uncovered that the #1 reason U.S. consumers would use a device such as the Apple iPad is for working on the go.

The Apple iPad is the first computer designed purely for hand-held mode. It's not a tablet with a touchscreen. It's not a Windows PC that happens to be mobile...It's a custom designed purpose built device designed to view the web and operate applications purely by using the screen...Oh and what a device!

Developers are excited by the iPad and the mood amongst a recent group that I met with, was that this could be the start of a new app 'gold rush'. Over 90% of the iPhone Developers that I spoke to were already looking into extending their current applications for iPad and over 50% of them indicated that they were looking at brand new application ideas that took advantage of the device.

Back to the Sybase Study... the findings reveal that consumers are increasingly demanding mobile devices combine Consumer and Enterprise Functionality. This does not really surprise me as I have already stated my thoughts on the iPad’s suitability as a new and powerful tool for the Information Workers...this will give them value in work-related activities, in addition to smartphones. Additionally, the study demonstrates that consumers want more access to information and work applications on their mobile devices, pointing to continuing challenges for businesses in enabling employees to effectively work on the go. I've always said... Mobility - 'You Snooze, You Lose' ... as your competitors will be planning or implementing a strategy and will reap the rewards!

Check out my Tao of Mobility here

As new mobile devices, like the iPad, come to market with increased functionality and battery life, the study shows that consumers are looking for devices they can use both at home and at work, with implications for the businesses being asked to support themSybase already support the Management & Security of these sort of combined usage devices... check out this article. The findings also show that the desire for a combined personal and work-ready mobile experience, is not complete without greater access to data, again something that Sybase is already capable of doing!.. check out this article

Here are the hard facts...

The Potential Impact of the iPad and the Changing Role of Mobile Phones
The role of new tablet devices such as the iPad has been a subject of great debate recently, and while the study shows that entertainment activities such as watching video and playing games are some of the tasks for which consumers might choose an iPad over a smartphone, work-related activities unexpectedly ranked at the top:

  • With the imminent introduction of the Apple iPad, more than half of smartphone users polled claimed that they are most likely to use a new tablet device like the iPad to conduct work (52.3%).
  • Surprisingly, the idea of using an iPad or tablet device for work garnered the most interest from smartphone users, while watching movies and television programs, and playing games placed a close second and third respectively (48.2% and 35.4%).
  • Three-quarters of smartphone users surveyed believe that smartphones and forthcoming devices like the iPad make people more productive at work, with one-third of those feeling that the productivity impact is significant.

Limited Access to Information
Despite thousands of applications being made available from app stores today, consumers say they still have limited access to common enterprise applications they need for work:

  • Access to both personal and work information continues to be lacking for most consumers.  For respondents who have data on their mobile devices, the study shows that almost two-thirds estimate they have access to less than 10% of their personal data and work data (59.8% and 69.4% respectively). Access to work applications is also lacking, with almost three-quarters of respondents claiming they have access to less than 10% of the applications they need to do their jobs (72.3%).
  • 67.6% of respondents with smartphones felt that if they could access twice the amount of information and applications they do today, it would benefit their productivity.
  • When asked about what functions they wished their smartphones had, the ability to connect with work systems, and the ability to watch streaming television shows or movies topped users’ wish lists (27.1% and 27.2% respectively).

For further details on the results of the survey, download the PDF.

More Stories By Ian Thain

As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain

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Most Recent Comments
NickMMI 03/24/10 09:54:00 AM EDT

I am an iPhone developer and you didn't ask me if I will be developing for the iPad. If you had asked me last week I would have said 'Not until the summer' as I wanted time to play with the device before starting a project, but an email from Apple last Friday to developers changed all of that. Get your App to Apple by 27th March and it will be considered for inclusion in the iPad App store. So, 7 days, 1 App challenge was born -