ÜberTech

iPhone 4's biz features tantalize 1/3 of Americans (and 8 other stats in chart form)

Summary:Sure, iPhone 4 brings SexyBack, but its business and security features are also attracting new buyers, according to a survey. Charts!

We already knew that at least 600,000 of you want an iPhone 4. What we didn’t know was: why?

So we (Sybase) commissioned well-known research firm, Zogby International, to do a broad survey of 2,000 American adults to find out. How broad? So much that 15% of respondents either didn’t own a mobile phone, or weren’t sure if they did.

Nearly one in eight adult Americans own an iPhone. Remember, this is all Americans, not just a snapshot of this quarter’s smartphone shipments, nor a look only at the smartphone installed base. Bonus fun stat: 16.4% of Hispanics surveyed owned an iPhone, higher than blacks (13.8%), Asians (13%) and whites (10.5%).

It’s unclear why so many iPhone users are unsure whether their iPhones were company-supplied. Could it be because so many of them bought the iPhone themselves but, like me, have their bills paid by their company? Bonus fun stat: NASCAR fans are more likely to own an iPhone than non-fans (12.2% versus 11.6%). App ideas, anyone?

Now here’s a meaty one: how much do you rely on your mobile for work? It’s higher for iPhone users (56% use at least once a day) versus users of other phones (42%). Bonus fun stat: 65+ year-old iPhone users were twice as likely to use it for work compared to 18-29 year old iPhone users (64% versus 33%). My question is: is the population of elderly iPhone users very skewed, or are there tons of people past retirement still working?

Checking work e-mail was overwhelmingly the most popular use for the iPhone. But web browsing for work, using third-party biz apps and connecting to the company’s network, were also far more popular on the iPhone than on other brand phones. Bonus fun stat: black iPhone owners were the most likely to use downloaded biz apps (45%, versus 29% for Asians and 19% for whites).

What features do iPhone users want for work purposes? Multi-tasking, ability to wipe sensitive data, and ability for employers to automatically install and update programs, make up the top 3. Sorting and spellchecking e-mails were less desired, while videoconferencing came in last. All of these features, by the way, arrive in the new iOS 4. Bonus fun stat: the most religiously devout thought multi-tasking was the most important feature, while non-religious people thought e-mail sorting was the most important.

More than half of respondents say these new features make the iPhone 4 immediately more attractive for work purposes. Bonus fun stat: Wal-Mart shoppers cared more about the iPhone’s business features more than those who shunned Wal-Mart.

While few respondents considered videoconferencing a killer app, more than a quarter said face-to-face communication would be a good thing, while 15% said it would be good for sharing diagrams and slides. This, as a reminder, is coming courtesy of iOS 4’s FaceTime app paired with the iPhone 4’s new front-facing camera. Contrary to the dystopia imagined by novelist David Foster Wallace, only 12% of respondents said the videoconferencing app would make them feel pressured to talk on camera rather than phone. Bonus fun stat: only 3% of Hispanics felt stress or pressure to use the videoconference feature (versus 28% of whites).

Knowing the iPhone 4’s enhanced productivity and security features, how many American workers would ask their companies for an upgrade? More than half. Bonus fun stat: military veterans are less likely to ask their employer for an iPhone.

What if the worker has to pony up the cash for the iPhone 4 upgrade him/herself? Well, 35% still say they would do the upgrade. So down, but maybe not as much as you would expect. Bonus fun fact: those making between $35-$50,000 a year are very likely to buy an iPhone for themselves (15.5%), versus 11.7% of those making $100,000+ a year.

What business features are most important to you? Did they or will they get you to buy an iPhone 4?

Topics: Enterprise Software, iPhone, Mobility

About

Eric Lai tracks the latest news and trends in enterprise mobility. A veteran tech journalist most recently covering enterprise software for Computerworld, Eric joined Sybase, an SAP company in April 2010. Eric's views are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of SAP. This blog is sponsored by SAP.

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