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Smaller businesses swap traditional Windows laptops for tablets

While PC shipments continue to decline, businesses have generally stuck with Windows PC upgrades – but attitudes may be changing

A study from mobile operator EE has found smaller businesses are abandoning PCs in favour of tablets.

“More than half of UK workers will replace laptops and a third said PCs numbers in the workplace are declining,” said Maria Armishaw, head of value-added services at EE.

The survey found 31% of businesses believe laptop use is declining and gradually being replaced by tablets, with 24% of respondents having already made the transition.

Armishaw said EE was seeing smaller businesses choose the ability to work more flexibly by using tablet computers.

“Businesses are purchasing tablets as laptops reach end of life. They can use a standalone keyboard, a mouse and the portable screen, which makes them a lot more mobile. Plus, you can work wherever you need to with a 4G connection,” she said.

Smaller businesses are generally not constrained by large Windows desktop estates, according to EE, making it easier for them to use alternative business software.

Tablets and smartphones have continued to dominate sales in the consumer market, while large businesses continue to buy hybrid tablet devices and traditional PCs.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 66.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015, according to the IDC’s Worldwide quarterly PC tracker. This represents a year-on-year decline of 11.8%, around 1% below projections for the quarter.

EE has developed a business app store with 12 vertical applications, including accounts and Microsoft Office 365, which it says is focused on the needs of small businesses.

In August 2015, EE launched a connected retail bundle to help retailers overcome barriers to mobility and modernise existing stores. The product, which is included in EE’s app store, offers a 4G point-of-sale bundle, which includes 4G tablets, the Shopwave point of sale (POS) app and contactless iZettle payment devices. EE claims the package is 20% of the cost of traditional POS packages.

Read more about tablets in the enterprise

  • Tablets come in all manner of profiles and on a variety of platforms, but which will shape up as the workplace favourite of the future?
  • Employees use tablet computers to get work done and IT can’t ignore the devices. Enterprise mobility management and virtualisation can help admins enable workers’ tablet use.

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