What Smartphones and Tablets Do Information Workers Use and Want?

by Joey deVilla on February 6, 2013

laptop tablet smartphone

Forrester Research’s recent Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends report (yours for the price of US$2,495) is based on a survey of nearly 10,000 information workers from 17 countries, in which they were asked about their usage of desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. We didn’t spring for the full report, but we were able to glean some numbers from online sources and we’ll share them below.

“Anytime, Anywhere Workers” Up 25%

anytime anywhere workers

The photo at the top of this article of my own work setup: laptop, tablet and smartphone. As someone who uses three or more devices and works from a number of locations, Forrester would classify me as an “Anytime, anywhere” worker. Forrester’s report says that 23% of the workers surveyed in 2011 fell into this category; in 2012, that number increased by a quarter to 29%, meaning that nearly a third have three or more devices and move around a lot.

Smartphones: It’s Android’s and Apple’s World; We Just Live in It

smartphone oss at work

Back in January, we pointed to a ComScore MobiLens report that indicated that the smartphone world is an Android/iOS duopoly, with Android taking 54% of the market and Apple taking 35%. The duopoly also exists in the business world, but it’s a much closer race, with Android taking 37% of the market, with iOS following closely behind at 34%. BlackBerry users make up 15%; Forrester also reports that in the financial sector, this share is 26%, and across North America, their share is 20%.

smartphones workers use and want

The workers surveyed were also asked what smartphones they currently had and which ones they wanted. Android has a slight lead over iOS in terms of currently-used phones, but iOS is ahead by 50% when it comes to the “What I want for my next smartphone” category. It appears that the BlackBerry camp are sticking with their devices; I’m sure a good number of them are the sort who love their physical keyboards. The surprise is the number of people who want their next phone to be a Windows Phone: 10% of those surveyed.

Tablets: iPad Rules the Roost, But is There Hope for Surface?

tablet oss at work

As we expected (see this earlier article of ours), the iPad is the most-used tablet among those surveyed, with over twice the share of the runner-up, Android. Windows tablets make up for 11%; since this survey was taken in the fourth quarter of 2012, it’s likely that many of these tablets aren’t Surface RTs runnign Windows RT, but Windows 7 “slates” such as Samsung’s Series 7.

tabkets workers use and want

The growing demand for tablets at work isn’t surprising. What is surprising is the demand among those surveyed for a Windows tablet as their next work tablet. Surface sales have been slow, which suggests that what people want is a tablet that can run desktop Windows applications and not just Windows RT apps. The Surface Pro might appear to be that machine at first blush, but it looks as though it lives in that neither-here-nor-there netherworld between tablet and laptop.

This article also appears in Mobilize!: The CTS Mobile Tech Blog.

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