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iPad embraced by small businesses; use quadruples in one year

While we've been hearing a lot about enterprise use of Apple's iPad, there hasn't been much attention paid to the millions of small businesses that are using the tablet. The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reported on a new national study that shows that small business use of the iPad has nearly quadrupled from 9 percent in 2010 to 34 percent in 2011.

The study by the parent company of The Business Journals indicates that the iPad is now the fastest growing technology in the SMB (small and medium businesses) business sector. The poll also notes that about 75 percent of small business owners were "very or somewhat familiar" with the iPad.

Godfrey Phillips, vice president of research at The Business Journals, says that "Our research has shown that for small business owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility. "The iPad, as well as smartphones and cloud computing, are all part of this new trend and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need."

One of the more fascinating results of the study looked at the demographics of iPad users in the small business community. They're highly educated, with 72 percent having a college education. Annual household incomes averaged about US$176,000 for the respondents, and their companies are well-established -- on average, they've existed for 28 years and have annual sales of about $9.2 million.

The full study will be made available on March 31.

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