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CXOs Move from Laptops to Tablets

Frost & Sullivan recently surveyed 555 CXOs (C-level executives, directors, and managers) ranging across various industry verticals, primarily in North America but from other regions as well, about their usage of mobile devices at work. Participants were required to use at least one of the following: laptop computer, smart phone, or tablet. The results clearly show that execs are moving away from traditional PCs and toward more lightweight but increasingly powerful mobile devices.

Laptop computer use among CXOs peaked at 99% in 2011. The subsequent steady decline can be attributed to a shift toward tablet adoption, although laptops are still used more than smart phones and tablets. Smartphone use in 2013 is consistent with 2012 results, after a growth of 9% between 2011 and 2012. Most significant is the growth rate of tablet computer use among CXOs: 118% between 2011 and 2013.

Here's a look at the key trends in each of the three categories:

Roughly one-third of the CXOs indicated they will likely replace a laptop computer with a tablet. The most prevalently owned laptop brands are Dell, Apple, and HP, respectively, but Apple's traction in the smart phone and tablet markets is contributing to relatively higher growth rates in the laptop market, because comfort with a common user interface across devices is increasingly important to a user's purchasing decision.

Key strategic drivers for success are reliability, performance and convenience, but multimedia capabilities, keyboard, ease of purchasing, and price are important, too. Among CXOs, the most recent laptop computer purchase was primarily through the employer.

Smart Phones
Apple is the most prevalent smart phone brand and the highest rated for satisfaction among the surveyed CXOs, but its overall growth rate is low compared to its nearest competitors. Samsung is expected to experience the most substantial future growth. Nevertheless, a large proportion of CXOs prefer to have Apple iOS as the operating system in their next smart phone (63 percent), followed by Android (25 percent) and Windows Phone 8 (6 percent).

Ease of use is considered the most influential factor in choosing Apple or BlackBerry mobile operating systems, while interoperability is the main reason for choosing Windows.

When CXOs purchased their most recent smart phone, the largest proportion did so from a mobile operator store, and they plan to do the same for their next smartphone purchase. Most CXOs own multiple smart phones, which is common regardless of brand. Small size/light weight, design, customer service, security, and ease of purchasing are key differentiators.

Apple is the most common tablet brand among CXOs, followed distantly by Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy. Owning multiple devices is uncommon for users of less popular brands; however, Apple tablet users own an average of 1.5 tablets each, mainly for the convenience of having tablets in various locations.

Samsung Galaxy and Microsoft Surface are both expected to see significant growth, but neither is expected to pose a significant threat to Apple in the short term.

Among CXOs who own Apple tablets, brand reputation, multimedia capabilities, and innovative features are the attributes that significantly impact their decision to select the brand. More than half of CXOs prefer a mobile operating system because it is easy to use and offers interoperability with other devices. When CXOs purchased their most recent tablet, the largest proportion did so from a manufacturer's store, which they also plan to do for their next tablet purchase.

Clients can download the full report on It contains detailed market information, competitive analysis, and a look at the channel for mobile devices, applications and security.

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