Tablets Moving Into the Corporate World

By Janice McDuffee January 11, 2011

The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gave the world a peak at what innovations the tech market could expect in the coming year, making it clear that tablets is the niche that everyone wants a piece of—particularly businesses.

Apple, having already set the course for others to follow with the iPad (and perhaps the iPad2 soon), was not at the show—giving others the opportunity to highlight their own products, adding features in an effort to appeal to the corporate world.

ChangeWave has monitored the tablet’s growing popularity in business, with its latest survey showing 7 percent of its corporate respondents provide their employees with tablet devices—82 percent of whom prefer Apple’s iPad.

The survey found the majority of the respondents use their tablets for Internet Access (73 percent), checking email (69 percent) and working away from the office (67 percent). Others use the devices for sales support (46 percent) and customer presentations (45 percent). Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated the devices were used as a replacement to their laptops.

To appease the growing trend, companies like Samsung (Galaxy Tab), RIM (Blackberry Playbook) and Motorola (XOOM) featured their own tablets at the show with corporate-friendly features not yet available on the iPad. While the Galaxy Tab is already on the market, the others should be available by the first quarter of this year.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch android-based tablet with 16GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, Flash support and cameras in the front and back of the device, with a 10-inch version to be released soon.

RIM’s Blackberry Playbook is specifically targeting the corporate world—at 7-inches and a 1024x600 resolution; the tablet has high definition cameras on both sides with an HDMI connection for video conferencing.

Taking home the Best in Show Award, Motorola’s Xoom has a dual core processor with the latest Android 3.0, a 1200x800 resolution with cameras on both sides of the device, three USB ports, a HDMI port and a 10-inch display. The tablet also has the ability to upgrade to 4G to connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

With other detachable cases with a connecting keyboard also featured at CES, like the ZAGGmate and tyPad, multiple providers are honing in on the tablet market—turning the devices into that of a corporate nature rather than casual.

Janice McDuffee has worked in marketing, editing and freelance writing for companies including SheKnows and HBM Inc. after receiving her master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
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