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For Email, Users Reach for the iPad

Lack of traditional keyboard poses no limitation for writing emails

The tablet has become a leading device among users for many digital activities, including game playing, browsing and online shopping, but now it is even replacing the traditional computer for more keyboard-intensive tasks like emailing. Perion, a developer of email client software, surveyed 4,400 US iPad users on their emailing habits during the last six months of 2012 and found that the devices are becoming the preferred place to read and send emails.

For reading emails, more than half of respondents chose the tablet as their preferred device, beating out PCs and Macs by over 20 percentage points. The difference was understandably narrower for sending emails, given that the keyboard is essential to writing emails. Just under half of respondents said they preferred the tablet vs. 41% who preferred a desktop or laptop computer.

Interestingly, the mobile phone was the No. 1 device for about one in 10 respondents for both sending and reading email. These users may be most often on the go, and for them, mobile is the most efficient way to stay in touch, no matter whether reading or responding.

Women showed the most enthusiasm for using their iPad for email and were more likely to use it exclusively for personal purposes (68%). Men were more likely to send business emails from the smart devices.

In terms of how often users turn to their iPad to check email, it was a daily activity for 88% of respondents. One-quarter reported checking email on their iPad six or more times per day. Only 11% of iPad users turned to email on the devices three times a week or less.

This year, eMarketer estimates there will be 65.7 million iPad users in the US, representing 60% of the total tablet audience. By 2016, the number of iPad users is expected to reach 85 million but account for a diminishing share of total tablet users, at 55%.

Email usability is likely to improve over time on both the iPad and other tablet devices and help make tablets the preferred device for reading and sending email messages across a variety of device manufacturers.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Real-Time Marketing Grows in Importance as Social Analytics Improve” and “Argentina Leads Digital Buyer Penetration in Latin America.”

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