SMBs Plan to Spend More on Tablets, iPad at the Top of the List

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 company size.

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.

Written by Kevin Kutcher at 10:00
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