Smartphones, Tablets Become Essential Work/Home Tools

Mobile devices that turn into research and information tools tend to follow consumers from home to work, blurring the lines between personal and business.

In fact, 37% of the 25,601 IDG Global Solutions (IGS) survey respondents use their personal tablet for business -- and the same goes for 41% of smartphones.

The survey, which spans responses from participants in 43 countries, suggests that the desire to consume content continues to rise. IDG estimates that by June 2014, more than today's 57% of consumers will rely on smartphones during business hours to read tech news; 47% will research tech products and services; 45% will read tech newsletters; 40% will compare products and services; and 40% will visit vendor sites for product information.

Work activities on tablets will also rise. About 69% will rely on reading tech news; 67% will research products and services; 60% will read tech newsletters; 58% will compare products and prices; and 60% will visit vendor sites for product information.

The survey results, gathered from March 2013 to May 2013, suggest that respondents rely heavily on tablets and smartphones to read email -- between 93% and 94% -- and download or use mobile apps, at 67% and 71%, respectively.

Some 94% of survey respondents said they download and use work-related mobile apps on their personal smartphone, and 93% said they download and use work-related mobile apps on their personal tablet.

On average, 56% of smartphone users make purchases and 73% buy with a tablet. In each instance, the vast majority buy products or services for personal use, rather than for work. In fact, more than 75% buy with a smartphone in North America and 84% purchase with a tablet. In every region, a majority of tablet users said they have made a purchase with their device. Some studies have shown that it will take time before business professionals feel comfortable making purchases from a mobile device for work-rated products and services.

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