By Kathryn Cave
January Forrester research shows that in mobile phones Android, Apple and BlackBerry devices are roughly equally represented in today’s workplace. This is despite Apple and Android’s perceived dominance. Yet the tablet market is a whole new ball game. The tablet has already been described as the fastest selling consumer device in history, and as it gradually moves into the corporate space its usage opens up big opportunities for marketers.
The preferred business tablet of the future will have a huge impact on tomorrow’s market. Not only will it impact the apps that are produced, it will also fundamentally change the way users interact with the information. Tablets are defined by their usability; however each version is subtly different.
At present the iPad commands huge brand loyalty. A recent poll we ran to our audience showed that 65% of 1792 global IT and business respondents owned a tablet. Out of this tablet owning group, 83% had the iPad, whilst Android users only amounted to 13%, and professionals on other operating systems barely scraped 4%. Findings on iPad owners have also shown that 83% would not even consider investing in a different device next time.
However, current evidence suggests that not only is the market share for tablet devices steadily increasing, but they are also rapidly taking over the workplace. There is no reason why Apple should remain brand leader forever. Research from Strategy Analytics this January showed that Android tablets took 39% of the world tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011.
7% of Marketers are Sitting on the Fence
A recent snapshot of 212 global marketers’ perceptions showed that 50% think Apple will still provide the preferred business tablet device of 2013. This is interesting – the astonishing levels of brand loyalty to Apple suggest over half should favor the iPad. Yet more remarkable still is the response of the remaining 50%: 1% believes Blackberry RIM will be the business choice of the future; 7% don’t know, and the left over 42% go for Android.
Marketers’ beliefs will undoubtedly have an impact on businesses of the future. If marketers favor one system and create apps for that system, this in turn will have an effect on the devices that businesses invest in for their workers. Take Flipboard, for example, this was named Apple’s iPad app of last year and one of Time magazine’s top 50 inventions, but as yet is only available for iOS users. Marketers’ perceptions are already affecting the market, as one recent commenter on our blog put it “the iPad is easier to use and has better apps, even when they are the same apps.”
It will be fascinating to see what Android applications spring up over the next 12 months, and how widely tablets employing this operating system are adopted within business. What do you think the future will bring?
The complete series of articles on this research is available on http://www.idgconnectmarketers.com/
About the author
Kathryn Cave is Editor of IDG Connect.
About the company
IDG Connect is the demand generation division of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s largest technology media company. Established in 2005, it utilizes access to 35 million business decision makers’ details to unite technology marketers with relevant targets from any country in the world. Committed to engaging a disparate global IT audience with truly localized messaging, IDG Connect also publishes market specific thought leadership papers on behalf of its clients, and produces research for B2B marketers worldwide. For more information visit: