iPad Used to Bolster Productivity– and Egos, Study Shows

Productivity, portability and convenience–all obvious reasons why people love to use their iPads. Don’t forget the status factor either, however.

A new study by Thomson Reuters, a business data provider, shows that a growing number of professionals carry an iPad or other tablet device in hopes of impressing those around them.

Reuters’ Mobile Device Usage study surveyed more than 300 senior staff and partners at various mid-size and large law and accounting firms about their use and opinions about tablet computers.

Not surprisingly, a huge number–62 percent– said that the ability to work while on-the-go was a top factor for using a tablet. Half of those surveyed said they used the devices for for Internet browsing.

Meanwhile, 11 percent admitted that they carried around iPads and the like because they consider the devices to be “status symbols” worthy of showing off.

The survey also broke down just exactly whose toting those tablets around: 61 percent of surveyed users were partners or senior management while less than 10 percent were entry-level employees or junior staff.

Rick Ness, Thomson Reuters’ chief technology officer, said he was surprised with the results of the study.

“If you’re walking around with the only iPad I can see why some people see it as a status symbol,” he said. “But I think you can see two-thirds of people with a mobile device has an iPad so it isn’t much of one any more.”

Wait until the next latest, greatest device is introduced on the market, he said, and the iPad may no longer rank up there with fancy cars, expensive wines and trendy clothes.

“I think if we do the survey in six months the [perception will change],” he said.

Then again, with the iPad 3 reportedly rumored to make its debut this spring, Apple’s mobile tablet’s status symbol ranking may be long-lived yet.

About Rachel: Rachel is a writer living in Northern California. She spends way too much time online; follow her at @writegrrrl