What People Will Do for Their iPads

— September 18, 2012

What’s more painful than getting a root canal, breaking a bone or getting in a minor car accident? The answer, according to a survey of more than 1,300 iPad owners, is breaking their device.

The survey, conducted by online and mobile presentation company Brainshark, Inc., shows that iPad users would find accidentally destroying their device more painful than:

  • Getting in a minor car accident - 40%
  • Having a root canal - 32%
  • Breaking their nose - 16%
  • Getting fired from their job - 10%
Introduced less than three years ago, the iPad has amassed 10s of millions of users, including more than 90% of the Fortune 500. Brainshark’s survey, conducted in August 2012, shows how quickly and deeply entrenched the device has become in its users’ personal and professional lives.

For example, 92% of iPad owners say the device currently supplements their laptop, and more than half (51%) think it will be their primary computing device within the next two years.

iPads Everywhere
With 17 million iPads sold in 2Q 2012, the device is part of the technology landscape and everyday life. Owners report taking and using their devices just about everywhere, including:
  • On vacation - 92%
  • In a plane - 73%
  • On the toilet - 60%
  • At a client meeting - 47%
  • Naked - 34%
  • Bumping into someone while walking - 24%
  • In the tub - 21%
Benefits of the iPad
Owners of the device say they appreciate its portability (88%), ability to turn on instantly (77%), apps (72%) and ability to stay accessible (58%). Over 4 in 10 say they benefit from using the device as a “pacifier” with their kids. In addition, over a quarter described the device as “a piece of art.”

Not Just a Tablet

The iPad is increasingly being viewed as a replacement device. More than two-thirds of owners say the device has replaced books for them, while others cite how it has replaced their MP3 player (51%), GPS (32%), TV (31%), camera (31%) and video camera (24%).

Because of this, owners are adamant about its value. More than one-third (34%) would rather shut off their air conditioning, and 42% would endure a winter day without heat, rather than shut off their iPad. In addition, owners say they’d rather lose the following items than their device:
  • Credit card or ATM card - 46% and 45%, respectively
  • License - 42%
  • Wallet - 27%
  • Wedding ring - 20%
“No one doubts the device’s popularity, but what’s really eye-opening about these statistics is just how inextricable the iPad has become from users’ everyday lives,” says Andy Zimmerman, chief marketing officer for Brainshark. “From a business perspective, it’s now incredibly important for companies to find ways to conveniently reach their audiences on this device, making it easy for them to view presentations and other important materials.”

Getting Down to Business

The iPad has also established a strong presence in the enterprise. When using their device for business, owners say they check work emails (82%), do web research (72%), use business apps (46%), and view and deliver presentations (74%).

The device is helping users with their jobs so much that 47% say they’d rather have one for work than a bigger or better office. About a third would forgo a more senior title for the device, and over two thirds would give up their own parking space. Nearly a quarter would sacrifice an extra week of vacation each year, and 65% would choose having an iPad over a laptop.

Enterprise users say that the device has helped their job performance, making them:
  • More connected while traveling - 79%
  • More productive - 64%
  • More successful at their jobs - 32%
  • Able to impress clients - 30%
  • Able to close a deal - 21%
Can’t Leave Home Without It
When traveling for business, 89% of iPad owners report using their device. About 6 in 10 users say they bring their device and laptop with them, while more than one third bring just the tablet and leave the laptop at home.

These business travelers would risk hunger, dehydration or a bladder infection for a day rather than go without their devices when on-the-go for business. Nearly half say they would go without meals, 4 in 10 would skip drinking water, and more than one third would forgo bathroom breaks before they would travel without their iPad.

Business travelers also say they’d rather forget the following items than forget their iPad:
  • Deodorant - 55%
  • Birth control - 50% (47% among females)
  • A change of clothes - 35%
  • To lock the front door - 22%
  • To turn off the oven - 17%


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