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While many device manufacturers are touting the productivity features of their tablets, a recent survey by analyst firm International Data Corp. indicates that only a very small percentage of tablet buyers are intend to replace their laptops with their newly bought device.

In an online poll of some 299 consumers aged 18 or older, IDC found that only 8.7 per cent want to use their tablet as a laptop replacement. IDC said 58.5 per cent of the respondents bought a tablet to use in addition to a laptop.

Tom Mainelli, IDC analyst and author of the report said the findings were a surprise as he expected a growing percentage of users would view a tablet device as “possibly replacing a laptop.”

Despite that, Mainelli believes that expanded usage of tablets is coming. Professionals who still rely on laptops are not thinking about the “possibilities” that laptops offer and instead “concerned that a tablet doesn’t run Flash of can only open one app at a time.”

He said that if the survey were done on people aged 17 and younger, the findings would have come out differently because that age group would have grown up with tablets since Apple Inc.’s first iPad came out in 2010.

The IDC analyst also said that manufacturers are also coming out fast with enterprise-focused features.

For example Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX tablets come with business-focused features such as a native VPN and hardware and software encryption.

The IDC survey also revealed that 35 per cent of respondents owned an iOS tablet; 26.4 per cent said they have a tablet running the standard Android OS; 10 per cent said their tablet was a custom Android device like Kindle fire; 9.4 per said they have a Windows tablet; and 0.7 per cent said they owned a Windows RT tablet.

Asked if they would buy a tablet with they would buy a tablet with the same OS next time, 80.2 per cent of the iOS owners said yes; followed by Windows owners (78.9 per cent); then standard Android users (70 per cent) and custom Android users (68 per cent).

More than 14 per cent or respondents said they did not know what operating system their tablet runs on.

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