The iPad and other mobile devices are rapidly becoming the go-to tools for small- and mid-size businesses (SMB), a new national study shows. Researchers say this demonstrates how connectivity is beginning to trump productivity and efficiency as the key benefit of technology.
iPad usage has nearly quadrupled in the SMB market over the past year, according to a survey of more than 1,400 business owners, CEOs and presidents of companies with fewer than 500 employees conducted by The Business Journals, a publishing company. Usage jumped from 9 percent in 2010 to 34 percent in 2011, indicating that the iPad is the fastest-growing technology in the SMB market.
Experts believe that the introduction of the iPad 3, which is expected to be announced this week at an Apple press conference in San Francisco, will further accelerate iPad market penetration. The line of Apple mobile devices has already won incredibly high levels of awareness in its less than two-year life span, with 75 percent of SMB owners reporting that they are "very or somewhat familiar" with the devices.
The growth of the iPad is part of a new phenomenon overtaking the SMB market, Business Journal researchers said.
"Our research has shown that for SMB owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility," said Godfrey Phillips, vice president of research for Business Journals. "Now, it's crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data, anytime and anywhere. The iPad, as well as smartphones and cloud computing, are all part of this new trend and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need."
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