IDG Connect recently launched a white paper entitled “iPad for Business Survey 2012which highlights global trends for its 60 million users world-wide. Specifically focused on useage trends with business and IT professionals, 51% of IT decision-makers say they “always” use their iPad at work, with a further 40% saying they “sometimes” use it at work. In Asia Pacific, the useage figures are significantly higher than the rest of the world, with 90% of business and IT professionals buying less physical information – books, newspapers and DVDs. The three areas where the iPad is used intensely for work-related activities are Web browsing, reading and news consumption.

The important statistics coming out of Asia:

  • Social media useage on iPads is very high, while useage for personal and work related communication (primarily email) is very low
  • Asian professionals are “more likely” than global peers to say their iPad has “completely” or “partially” replaced a laptop or PC
  • Asian professionals are fully engaged by the iPad’s powerful effects on content consumption patterns. Nine out of 10 Asian professionals say they have purchased fewer newspapers and books since taking delivery of an iPad
  •  Considering the high useage by Asian IT and business professionals, surprisingly only 10% of employers supply iPads to employees (compares to 24% worldwide)

But ANZ is quite different…

  • Only 40% see their iPad as a complete or partial replacement for a laptop (compared to 64% worldwide)
  • Professionals in ANZ are also far less interested in using iPads as substitutes for PCs
  • Levels of useage on the move are the lowest in the world

The conclusions?

  • IT and business professionals certainly use their devices at home (which is the global norm) but they also use their devices in a similarly intensive way at work
  • They also use them on the road more frequently than other iPad users
  • The three predominant text-based/work related useage areas, as mentioned above, are Web browsing, news consumption and reading – now considered the “killer apps” to have transformed the iPad into a viable business tool
  • Connectivity seems one of the biggest issues and a striking finding is that with 79% always using their iPads on the move, but not many going online (only 40% incorporate 3G), users are reading previously side-loaded or downloaded documents
  • What kind of documents? Excel, Word, and PPT files, as well as “must-read” PDFs like vendor whitepapers

So the question is this – does this open up significant possibilities for technology marketers? And in Asia Pacific, considering the high useage statistics compared to the rest of the world, should a mobile content strategy be a higher priority if it isn’t already? Obviously a discussion on tablets goes beyond the iPad, as other locally-grown tablets (e.g. Samsung Galaxy) gain traction in this region, which I expect are also utilised at the highest rates in the world.

This research supports a lot of “ideas” being discussed in marketing circles these days, but one aspect is really important – it defines the how and when customers and prospects consume information. Therefore, to ensure marketers are maximizing on this opportunity for mind-share, a mobile content strategy is certainly vital – especially in Asia.

As IDG Connect summarises, “the prospect of gaining access to decision-makers who are in reading (or lean-back) mode while at home or on the move between locations, is intriguing. At the very least it deserves further investigation.”

Apart from all of the other implications this research brings to the fore – like advertising – is it likely to change the way you deliver content? And do you expect to increase the frequency of your high value content and how you market it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. It’s certainly going to be a hot focus area for marketers moving forwards. Maybe Asia can lead this one?


Andrea Edwards

Managing Director


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Andrea is an award winning B2B communications professional with more than 23 years’ experience from around the globe, including 12 years exclusively in Asia Pacific. Focused principally in the ICT industry, Andrea has grown with the industry, and she has a proven talent to communicate with customers, prospects, stakeholders and influencers in a way that deeply resonates and gets results.

In her current role at Novus Asia, Andrea relishes sharing her passion for content marketing and its’ ability to fundamentally transform how businesses market to their customers. To be at the heart of this revolution in Asia, where every day she partners with inspired business leaders on their journey into a new era of business storytelling, is what drives her to achieve greater success. Additionally, Andrea understands that to succeed in content, professionals must be motivated and trained to build their personal brands to truly harness the amazing content being created for brands today.

Andrea was an early-adopter of blogging, authoring five very different blogs today, she’s a social media evangelist (a Top 100 Social Seller on LinkedIn in Singapore) and has had the great privilege to work around the world - EMEA, the US, ANZ and Asia.
Andrea’s core skill-set is communication excellence - she listens to and understands her customers, and is considered by many a positive disruptor in her field. She is constantly seeking to motivate colleagues, coaching and mentoring them to be more effective with their personal digital branding, as well as defining and executing communication strategies, content strategy, content creation, senior executive digital coaching, messaging and positioning, as well as a world-class business writer and story teller.

While Andrea’s career has been principally focused on ICT, she has also gained experience in other major industries, including defence, aerospace, government, travel & tourism, HR, environment, professional services, health, marketing services, financial services, and even the brewing industry. Andrea has been: Analyst Relations Lead for Microsoft Asia; Managing Director, SAJE, her own communications, content marketing & messaging agency; Director, Marketing Services for IDC Asia Pacific, Singaapore; Group Communications Manager for Baycorp Advantage, Sydney; Marketing Communications Consultant, ClearForest, NYC; Account Director with Text 100 International, Boston & London; a PR Consultant for various firms, London; Communications Co-ordinator, AeroSpace Technologies of Australia (now Boeing); and a Musician in the Australian Army, followed by PR representative for the Australian Defence Force PR Unit.

Andrea left Australia in 1995 to pursue her deep love of travel and archaeology, and she has a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, majoring in music and archaeology.

You can follow Andrea on Twitter @AndreaTEdwards, her professional communications blog can be found at, where she writes about global trends in content, content marketing, communications, social media and social business, translating global trends for Asian relevancy. And of course, you can find her on LinkedIn andreaedwardsasia.


  1. Other than web-mail, are corporate types writing anything using iPads and tablets?

    I can see how they’re being used to consume content while mobile but does the exec road warrior also bring a notebook/laptop on trips?

    It seems like tablets are the Achilles heel of corp network IT departments, a device through which the ubiquitous ‘cloud’ is going to appear in all its terrible glory, one fine morning in cubicle land.


    • Hey Mark, according to the research, it seems they’re being used to consume content, not necessarily create it. So can we presume laptops are also being lugged around for work? But the message I found important is how prospects are consuming content these days, and that is the golden egg for marketers right – understanding that? And I hear ya re the achilles heel – but that’s a whole other topic! xxx


  2. I had the same experience – really surprised me, but luckily it looked good on a tablet. Haven’t check all of my sites tho. I think we all need to check to see how our content looks in a mobile environment for sure.


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