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No. 1 planned use for Apple iPad: working on the go

A new survey of wireless device users has found that the top intended use for Apple's forthcoming iPad is getting work done while on the road, suggesting the multimedia device could serve as a netbook replacement for many consumers.

The new study released this week from Sybase and conducted by Zogby International surveyed 2,443 adults with a mobile phone, 770 of which own smartphones. Among the smartphone-owning respondents, more than half — 52.3 percent — said they are most likely to use a tablet device like the iPad to do work. Another three-quarters of smartphone users said they believe devices like the iPad will make them more productive at work.

Beyond work, 48.2 percent of smartphone users believe they will use their iPad for watching movies, TV shows and other videos. Playing games was the third most popular activity among smartphone respondents, taking 35.4 percent.

"The study shows that consumers are looking for devices they can use both at home and work, with implications for the business being asked to support them," Sybase wrote in its analysis. "Further, findings show that while device functionality is important to satisfying people's desire for a personal and work-ready mobile experience that the experience is incomplete without greater access to data."

Specifically, the poll found that users feel they have limited access to both their personal and work data. Two-thirds of respondents who have data on their mobile devices said that they have access to less than 10 percent of both their personal and work data, as well as applications.

Those surveyed hope for a more connected future where they can access their data from anywhere, as 67.6 percent said they would be more productive if they could access twice the amount of information and applications they do today.

Apple has targeted business users as potential iPad customers, adding features designed to make the device attractive to the enterprise market. The iPad will sync documents with iTunes and will also access cloud, Web and local file shares.

Multi-touch versions of applications in Apple's iWork suite will also be available for the iPad, with new iterations of Numbers, Pages and Keynote set to cost $9.99 each on the App Store. The mobile version of Pages will also be compatible with Microsoft Word, allowing users to open and save files in the standard business document format.

Sybase 2

As for cloud-based storage, an alleged e-mail response from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said that the iPad will support the accessing of documents through and iDisk.