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iPad to woo more corporate customers this year, says analyst

A survey of chief information officers by Piper Jaffray points to greater adoption of the iPad and tablets in general over the coming year.

Apple's 4th-generation iPad
Apple's 4th-generation iPad.

The iPad will land in the hands of more business users in 2013, according to a poll conducted by Piper Jaffray.

Revealing the survey results in an investors note out today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said that IT managers will spend more money to outfit employees with tablets this year than in 2012. Among the 59 CIOs polled, 57 percent plan to deploy tablets in 2013, compared with 46 percent last year.

Further, the percentage of CIOs who said they'd conduct "broad" tablet rollouts jumped to 15 percent for this year from just 4 percent last year. Overall, 58 percent of those surveyed expect to spend more money on tablets this year, while just 5 percent anticipate spending less.

Looking beyond the horizon, Munster sees businesses increasing their tablet deployments rapidly over the next three to five years.

So how does all this benefit the iPad in particular?

"We view the greater deployment of tablets as a positive for Apple given that we believe the iPad has over 60 percent global tablet share and likely a higher share among enterprises." Munster said. "We believe continued growth in enterprise tablet deployment will help drive continued growth in the full-sized iPad segment given the larger iPads are better for content creation."

Research firm Forrester also expects Apple to "buck the trend" this year in the face of sluggish PCs buying among the enterprise crowd.

With spending on Windows PCs likely to be flat in 2013, Forrester predicts Apple will sell $7 billion worth of Macs and $11 billion worth of iPads to corporate customers this year. And next year's sales could rise to $8 billion worth of Macs and $13 billion of iPads.

The influx of iPads and iPhones into the business market is an ironic twist. Apple has traditionally focused mostly on consumer and education sales, with the corporate market an afterthought. But the BYOD (bring-your-own device) craze has prompted more companies to allow employees to use their favorite home devices on the job.

Companies have also found they can save money by letting staffers use their own personal smartphones and tablets at work. Combine that with the corporate trend of avoiding new PC purchases, and it's clear why vendors like Apple are major beneficiaries.