Tablets to replace laptops within 10 years

Tablet adoption is speeding up in the workplace, and tablets are predicted to replace laptops within 10 years, according to new research undertaken by EE.

According to the survey of 2,000 UK workers:

  • The majority (52%) believe that tablets are set to replace laptops in the workplace within the next 10 years – and 36% say it will happen even sooner;
  • Almost a third (31%) said that laptop usage in the workplace is declining;
  • A quarter (24%) said they previously used laptops for work purposes, but have now made the transition to tablets.

working with tablet

Despite most existing tablet tariff plans lasting two years, the research reveals that 30% of tablet owners have had their device for more than three years. This length of ownership outstrips that of phones, and is supported by recent research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicating that the refresh cycle of a tablet is comparable to that of a laptop, rather than a smartphone.

Mike Tomlinson, Director of Small Business at EE, says, “Our research clearly shows that businesses are mobilising their workforces, and that tablets are rapidly becoming the primary device of choice. Sunsail are a great example of a business going one step further with 4GEE tablets from EE and the Canvas smart forms app to become even more productive and efficient.”

Simon Boulding, Director at Sunsail, global yachting charter company and EE customer, says, “We’ve used 4G tablets and EE’s smart forms bundle with Canvas to improve the way we work, replacing our old paper-based forms and manual procedures for everything from customer relations and performing checks on our boats as they come in and go out. Since introducing tablets into the business, we’ve seen a 60% increase in customer engagement and we predict we will save over £10,000 per year on labour and direct costs – directly benefitting our bottom line. At Sunsail we constantly strive to increase efficiency and sustainability, and EE has been an invaluable partner in our journey.”


Sailing holiday provider Sunsail is deploying ruggedised 4G tablets from EE to boost productivity, save money, digitise key tasks and cut down on paper use. The company has 30 yachts in the UK and just over a dozen staff based in Hampshire and is now able to use 4G tablets and digital form and data capture app Canvas, to improve the way it runs day-to-day processes including marketing, customer relations and inventory management.

Previously paper forms were given to customers for everything from feedback to signing up to future sailing courses and holidays. Using paper-based forms resulted in very low return rates of just 10 per cent. By using tablets to capture this data and instantly share with head office, Sunsail has realised a 60% to 70% feedback rate. As a result, Sunsail has boosted customer engagement and is driving additional revenue through increased repeat bookings.

Sunsail’s digitised systems have also led to more efficient inventory and safety check processes amongst others. This saves time whenever a yacht is taken out, which over the course of a busy season, will save in excess of £6,000 in labour. It is also more efficient and sustainable than dealing with paperwork. This saves over £3,000 in copying, toner and paper annually and helps to protect Sunsail’s reputation of being the only yacht charter company in the UK to hold ISO20121 for Sustainable Event Management and an active supporter of the environmental initiative The Green Blue.

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