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

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!

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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: UberMobile, iPhone, Mobility

Eric Lai

About Eric Lai

I have tracked technology for more than 15 years, as an award-winning journalist and now as in-house thought leader on the mobile enterprise for SAP. Follow me here at ÜberMobile as well as my even less-filtered musings on Twitter @ericylai

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