Developers are (according to some vendors) becoming "enlivened" by the musings of tablet PC makers from Apple to BlackBerry, as they "talk up" the opportunities for business applications development.
But, says KeyPoint Technologies, the market may not quite be about to "burgeon" to the degree that many vendors would have us believe.
Despite this, Deloitte has claimed that 25% of tablet PCs will be bought by enterprises in 2011. For developers, this would mean a whole new market and new opportunities for their app offerings.
Research released by KeyPoint Technologies, however, paints a bleaker picture for tablets being used for business at the moment. Tablet adoption in business is generally low says the company -- and users feel they are unable to perform central business tasks such as writing reports and presentations.
Typing long documents is just too frustrating due to poor auto-correct (and predictive text) functionality.
· 44% of tablet users consider text input to be the primary frustration with their tablet.
· Only 23% of tablet owners use them for common business functions such as writing reports, articles and presentations.
The research indicates that text input is the chief frustration when using a tablet for anything more than passive browsing. There is an 'input gap' between the level to which tablets (currently) support the speed and accuracy desired by users for text input - particularly business users - and the current functionality available.
Until this issue is resolved tablet adoption in the workplace is going to remain low says Keypoint and developing for business across tablet platforms (including the arguably more business-focused BlackBerry Playbook) is not going to be a prosperous game.
There is, perhaps, a clear opportunity for here developers to gain the competitive edge by working on text input in their apps and producing something truly business friendly.
"It's clear that text input will be the next battlefield in tablet computing, as manufacturers try to steal a march on each other and improve the utility of their tablets," says Sunil Motaparti, CTO of KeyPoint Technologies. "The poor typing experience leaves people viewing the devices as a compromised hybrid, mid-way between a smartphone and a laptop. Only with improved - faster and more accurate - text input technologies, can the tablet become a realistic replacement for a laptop and a real aid to productivity."
The research suggests that tablet user's biggest frustration with the devices is typing long documents of over 500 words (44 per cent), well ahead of battery life (36 per cent) and connectivity concerns (23 per cent). When questioned, users reported that it is not the on-screen keyboard itself that causes issues, but poor auto-correction, predictive text and copy and paste functions associated with it.
The primary research findings are based on responses from 1011 people in the United States who use tablet computers such as the iPad. The research was commissioned by KeyPoint Technologies and conducted independently by Opinion Matters in June 2011.