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Prior to the launch of the new iPad, use of Apple's tablet device was primarily being used as an internet access and entertainment device.

According to research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), just 13% of iPad owners were using their iPads for business owners. But that may be changing.

A new survey conducted by CIRP finds that between December of last year and April of this year, use of the iPad for business purposes jumped significantly, with 21% of new iPad owners indicating that they'll be using their new slate for business.

AllThingsDigital's John Paczkowski suggests

With its Retina screen and 4G connection, the third-generation iPad is viewed as more suitable for business use. But that’s secondary to the more obvious explanation: Enterprise has warmed to the idea of the iPad as a standard-issue business sidearm.

He notes that as of April 2012, 94% of Fortune 500 companies were experimenting with or actively deploying the iPad.

The numbers make it clear: the iPad's future in the enterprise may be very bright. But Apple will increasingly have to fight to grow and maintain the iPad's role in companies.

Microsoft's Windows 8, which is touch-oriented and designed to move Microsoft into the tablet space in a big way, is coming in October and the Redmond software giant has a formidable weapon in Office, the ubiquitous productivity suite used by countless businesses. It's no surprise that Microsoft is gearing up to use Office in an effort to drive Windows 8 adoption.

The good news for Apple is that it has been paying attention to the enterprise more recently, and thanks to the consumerization of IT, would-be competitors like Microsoft may increasingly have to win over consumers before they can win over IT departments, something that will often give Apple devices a significant leg up.

Patricio Robles

Published 20 July, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (4)

John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

Completely agree ... I bought my iPad as a toy and have ended up using it for business more than my laptop. Brilliant for catching up with email or LinkedIn in front of the TV.

about 4 years ago

Stewart Longhurst

Stewart Longhurst, Director at V1 Digital

My team has recently kitted out with new iPads to increase our connectivity to email and calendars in meetings, to deliver presentations and to replace the humble notebook and pen for note taking.

Apple still have some way to go to make the iPad and its ecosystem fully trusted by our IT security folk - e.g. no iCloud and we're currently only allowed to connect to the equivalent of our Guest WiFi rather than into the corporate network so there are some things we still need the PCs for.

As a digital team though, the value of us using iPads for work and exploring what can be done with them is a valuable developmental activity for us as individuals and for the company.

about 4 years ago

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Shane Lennon

Over the last 6 months I am now spending almost half the week out of the office and in meetings. I noticed I now leave my MacBook at home or in the office, and bring my iPad everywhere. To the point that with DropBox and Quickoffice on the iPad, I only do heavy content creation on the MacBook, and everything else now via iPad. I did a rough straw poll of a few friends and peers, and they were noticing a similar change in their pattern of using a tablet/iPad and a PC/Mac.

about 4 years ago

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Brendan McGurgan

Does anyone have a Policy they can share regarding iPad use within their company including eligibility (determining who should get one!) and security?

almost 4 years ago

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