Apple's iPad tablet is beginning to make significant inroads into the enterprise market, according to recent research by analyst firm ChangeWave.
The survey of 1,641 business IT buyers found that seven per cent of companies are now equipping staff with tablet devices, with the iPad by far the most popular choice at 82 per cent, despite there being many other new entrants to the market.
Apple’s closest competitor, the HP Slate, accounted for eleven per cent, while seven per cent of firms opted for the Dell Streak.
The ChangeWave survey also found the Apple device had the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Seventy per cent of Apple users said that they were very satisfied with their device, while just 23 per cent of Slate and 12 per cent of Streak users could say the same.
ChangeWave said it expects an "explosive surge in demand" for tablets in the first quarter of next year, with Apple continuing to enjoy the lion's share of this increase uptake.
The analyst firm found that 78 per cent of those firms with plans to invest in tablets favour the iPad.
Dell, meanwhile, looks set to overtake HP, coming equal second in terms of future investment along with RIM’s PlayBook, which has yet to be released.
With regards to how tablets are being used, the survey found that for 73 per cent of users the iPad's primary function is accessing the internet, while for 69 per cent it is for checking emails.
The third most popular primary function was working away from the office, at 67 per cent, with sales support in fourth place, cited by 46 per cent of users. Customer presentations was fifth with 45 per cent, while interestingly, only 38 per cent of respondents said they primarily saw the iPad as a laptop replacement.
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