Android-powered devices have been the Rodney Dangerfield of tablets — they just don’t get any respect. That may be changing, though, as least when it comes to the workplace, a new study shows. Among business professionals who don’t own a tablet but plan to buy one, Android devices trump iPads in purchasing preference by several percentage points.
To be sure, Android still faces an uphill battle against reigning champion Apple. A majority (71 percent) of business and IT executives around the world already own tablets, according to a study conducted by IDG Connect, a technology media company. And 60 percent of them own an iPad, almost twice the number (31 percent) of Android owners.
Yet among business professionals who don't yet own a tablet, 33 percent say they will go with Android. Only 31 percent say they will buy an iPad. Android affection is even stronger with the tech set, the study found. Among IT professionals who don't yet own a tablet, 49 percent say they will buy an Android tablet; only 26 percent say they will buy an iPad.
Part of Android's appeal has been its lower cost at retail than iOS tablets. The survey data confirmed that Android owners are slightly more price sensitive than iPad owners. But Android's future will not be determined by price alone, IDG says. More than three-quarters (78 percent) of Android tablet owners describe functionality as "very important." Less than half (43 percent) describe price similarly.
Tablet usage is multi-contextual, spanning work use as well as personal, the survey found. More than three-quarters (78 percent) of Android owners use their tablet at work on at least a weekly basis; daily or weekly work usage by iPad owners was even higher (84 percent). Personal use of tablets is nearly universal — 98 percent of iPad and Android users say they use their device for personal purposes either daily or weekly.
"Anyone who still believes that tablets are toys for fanboys needs to revise their view of the world," IDG said. "For tens of millions of corporate professionals worldwide, tablets have become a tool of choice, used for both work and play."