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New study shows iPad primarily a leisure device; new buyers more likely to use for business

The iPad is largely used as an entertainment device, with most owners picking up the tablet to access the Internet, watch video, look at photos, or play games, according to a new report.

In surveying Apple users, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that "leisure use predominates, including entertainment and gaming."

Among those who purchased an iPad between December and April, many used the tablet to access the web, for entertainment, and for playing games, CIRP found. Just about 40 per cent used the iPad for the Internet, while about 33 per cent used it for entertainment, which included watching videos, looking at photos, or listening to music. Another 26 per cent used the device to play games.

Other leisure activities factored in much less. Surprisingly, only 11 per cent used the iPad to access social networks, while 8 per cent used it to read books or magazines.

The launch of the new iPad in March brought with it more business users. About 21 per cent of new iPad buyers are likely to use the tablet for business, compared to 13 per cent of those across all models. New iPad users were also more likely to use social networks (16 per cent) and less likely to play games (19 per cent).

CIRP found that "devoted" Apple users were most likely to use the iPad for business. That includes people who own an Apple TV, AirPort Wi-Fi router, or Time Capsule external hard drive and router. About 23 per cent of "devoted" Apple fans use the iPad for business.

Business users also probably have larger capacity iPads, but overall, CIRP found that "more expensive iPads are a mixed bag."

Apple is rumoured to be prepping a smaller, 7.85in iPad, but has not yet made any announcements.