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A total of 8.87 million tablet PCs are being used by small to
medium-size businesses in the United States according to a Techaisle
survey of 1,356 SMBs. It is estimated that slightly more than 50
percent have been purchased by consumers and used for business. A large
percentage of small businesses (SBs) do not yet have any formal policy
of supporting tablets, according to the survey results, whereas 48
percent of medium businesses (MBs) have already established such a

Healthcare and financial services verticals are early adopters of
tablet PCs, survey results indicated. Reflecting its strong consumer
roots, the Apple iPad dominated among very small businesses, but
research indicated Google’s open source Android operating system (OS)
is making inroads among larger SBs and MBs. Overall, 64 percent of SMBs
are single OS adopters.

The survey also found 71 percent of SMBs are using tablets as an
additional device rather than replacements. Of the SMBs who plan to buy
a tablet in the next 12 months, 77 percent are repeat buyers. While
most tablet purchases are intended to be add-ons to existing PCs,
larger SMBs express a desire to replace notebooks with these devices,
survey results indicated.

Actual purchase decision will likely be driven by a more logical
analysis of capabilities of both devices, Techaisle noted. For example,
lighter notebooks with better battery life and instant on capabilities
could hinder replacement by tablet PCs. Security, lack of keyboard and
compatibility are key inhibitors in adopting tablet PCs, according to
the company’s research.

Survey results also indicated tablets are currently found in corner
offices and executive suites, although SMBs said they plan to expand
usage among employees. However, the survey indicated broader adoption
depends upon the availability of apps supporting line of business,
productivity applications and pricing. The results were released by
Techaisle as part of its SMB Mobility Adoption and Trends Reports
covering tablet PCs, smartphones, mobile work environment and mobility
applications. Reports are also being compiled for additional countries,
including the UK, Germany, Brazil, Australia, France and Italy.