Apple iPads Will Be Used At Work

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Users will take their iPads to work, despite the doubts of IT managers who still don’t trust Apple’s iPhone, a survey has found

The main attraction of the Apple iPad is a wish to work on the go, according to a survey by enterprise software company Sybase, even though IT managers may resist supporting the device.

In a survey of consumers, Sybase asked respondents which tasks they would be most likely to perform if they owned a tablet device such as the iPad. More than half (52 percent) said that they’d use it for conducting work, while another 20 percent said they’d use it for business presentations.

Analyst Forrester has backed the iPad as an enterprise device, and it has been predicted that users will be asking for iPad support from IT managers when it arrives in April, although many will be unwilling to provide it.

Will IT managers accept iPhone OS?

Consumer applications will also be popular on the device, and the iPad has been predicted to do well as an e-reader, with booksellers adding applications for it.  This survey found that watching movies, television and videos garnered 48.2 percent of the vote, while 35.4 percent named gaming and other activities.

Nearly three-quarters of the smartphone users surveyed said they believed smartphones and devices such as the iPad led to greater productivity at work and, overall, expressed a desire for greater access to productivity-enhancing tools.

When asked what percentage of their company’s applications they could currently access on their mobile phones, 72.3 percent answered “less than 10 percent,” while only 3.5 percent said “more than 75 percent.” When asked the impact they thought having access to twice the applications or information would have, 67.6 percent said it would make them “more productive and better at my job.”

Another 21.1 percent didn’t expect greater access to have any effect and 2.3 percent said the effects would likely be negative.

iPhones in the enterprise have been a point of debate for years, with many enterprises, primarily citing security concerns, resisting worker’s calls for IT to support the devices. Will the iPad double the pressure on IT staffs — or finally convince them to support the iPhone OS?

“I’m skeptical of the iPad as a work-related device,” analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK, alluding to widely-quoted criticism of the device, including its lack of a keyboard. “Without keyboard input, workers can’t create content comfortably enough to make it worthwhile. The iPad does have an optional keyboard, but the sum total is more cumbersome than just a small clamshell notebook.”

Kay added that even consumers who think they want an iPad still haven’t had a chance to try one out, so it’s hard to say what will happen.

“For people who just send short texts, [doing without a keyboard] can be done. I do it on my iPhone now,” Kay said. “But for real office productivity, workers need a better input mechanism.”

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