Apple traditionally hasn't pushed its products in business
enterprises to the degree competitors have, but the grass roots
popularity of the iPhone, and now the iPad, among employees is
driving adoption. Nearly 3/4 of U.S. small and medium-sized
businesses (SMBs) - those with fewer than 1,000 employees - plan to
purchase tablets during the next 12 months, with the iPad
considered the most popular choice, according to The NPD
Group's Q3 2011 SMB Technology Monitor.
"Businesses of all sizes appear to be determined to capitalize on
the tablet phenomenon," said Stephen Baker, vice president of
industry analysis at NPD.
"The iPad, just as it is in the consumer market, is synonymous for
'Tablet' in the business market, leaving Apple poised to take
advantage of the increased spending intentions of these SMBs. NPD's
research shows that iPad purchase preference is higher among larger
firms than smaller ones, which is an important indicator that Apple
is gaining traction far outside its typical consumer space."
Seventy-three percent of SMBs surveyed said they intended to
purchase tablets in the ensuing 12 months, up from 68% in NPD's SMB
Technology Monitor Q2 survey. Ninety percent expect to spend the
same amount or more on tablets, with the average investment in
tablets by SMBs coming in at more than $21,000. The amounts
actually spent could vary drastically, NPD notes, depending on
Among larger SMBs - those with 501-999 employees - 89% plan to
purchase new tablets, an 8% quarter-to-quarter increase, while 95%
are planning to increase or maintain their spending levels. Larger
SMBs intend to spend nearly $39,000 on tablets.
Among smaller SMBs, 54% of those with fewer than 50 employees plan
to purchase new tablets, while 89% of them plan to increase or
maintain spending. Smaller SMBs on average plan to spend less than
$2,000 on new tablets over the next 12 months.