Tablets to Replace Laptops in the Workplace within 10 years, EE Research Reveals

  • Research from EE reveals that more than half (52 per cent) of UK workers say tablets will replace laptops in the workplace within 10 years
  • Almost a third (31 per cent) said that workplace laptop usage is declining, and 24 per cent of workers say have now transitioned to tablets
  • Businesses are also keeping tablets for longer, with 30 per cent keeping their tablets for over three years
  • In light of this, EE is launching the UK’s first 36-month tablet plan specifically built for small businesses customers. It provides a cost-effective option that better reflects how small businesses purchase and use tablets and compliments EE’s shorter term tablet plans.
  • Case study: Sailing holiday provider Sunsail is using 4G tablets from EE to reduce costs by over £10,000 annually and increase customer engagement by up to 60%

Tablet adoption is speeding up in the workplace, and tablets are predicted to replace laptops within 10 years, according to new research undertaken by EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company.

According to the survey of 2,000 UK workers:

  • The majority (52 per cent) believe that tablets are set to replace laptops in the workplace within the next 10 years, and 36 per cent say it will happen even sooner.
  • Almost a third (31 per cent) said that laptop usage in the workplace is declining
  • A quarter (24 per cent) said they previously used laptops for work purposes, but have now made the transition to tablets.

Despite most existing tablet tariff plans lasting two years, the research reveals that 30 per cent of tablet owners have had their device for more than three years.  This length of ownership outstrips that of phones, and is supported by recent research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicating that the refresh cycle of a tablet is comparable to that of a laptop, rather than a smartphone.        

In response to this changing behaviour, EE is launching the UK’s first 36-month tablet plan to provide additional flexibility specifically for small business customers and complement existing shorter term plans*. The plan is more cost-efficient for businesses, saving subscribers approximately 25 per cent per month in comparison to the 24-month plan, as well as providing businesses with flexible options to meet their business needs.

Mike Tomlinson, Director of Small Business at EE, says: “Our research clearly shows that businesses are mobilising their workforces, and that tablets are rapidly becoming the primary device of choice. Sunsail are a great example of a business going one step further with 4GEE tablets from EE and the Canvas smart forms app to become even more productive and efficient.”

Simon Boulding, Director at Sunsail, global yachting charter company and EE customer, says: “We’ve used 4G tablets and EE’s smart forms bundle with Canvas to improve the way we work, replacing our old paper-based forms and manual procedures for everything from customer relations and performing checks on our boats as they come in and go out. Since introducing tablets into the business, we’ve seen a 60% increase in customer engagement and we predict we will save over £10,000 per year on labour and direct costs – directly benefitting our bottom line. At Sunsail we constantly strive to increase efficiency and sustainability, and EE has been an invaluable partner in our journey.”

CASE STUDY – Sunsail

Sailing holiday provider Sunsail is deploying ruggedised 4G tablets from EE to boost productivity, save money, digitise key tasks and cut down on paper use. The company has 30 yachts in the UK and just over a dozen staff based in Hampshire and is now able to use 4G tablets and digital form and data capture app Canvas to improve the way it runs day-to-day processes including marketing, customer relations and inventory management.

Previously paper forms were given to customers for everything from feedback to signing up to future sailing courses and holidays. Using paper-based forms resulted in very low return rates of just 10 per cent. By using tablets to capture this data and instantly share with head office, Sunsail has realised a 60 to 70 per cent feedback rate. As a result, Sunsail has boosted customer engagement and is driving additional revenue through increased repeat bookings.

Sunsail’s digitised systems have also led to more efficient inventory and safety check processes amongst others. This saves time every time a yacht is taken out, which over the course of a busy season, will save in excess of £6,000 in labour. It is also more efficient and sustainable than dealing with paperwork. This saves over £3,000 in copying, toner and paper annually and helps to protect Sunsail’s reputation of being the only yacht charter company in the UK to hold ISO20121 for Sustainable Event Management and an active supporter of the environmental initiative The Green Blue. 

For more information about EE’s Business Apps including Canvas, please visit:

For more information about EE’s flexible range of Tablet plans, please call EE’s dedicated small business team on 0800 956 6108


- ENDS -


Notes to Editors

*This 36 month plan is available to small business customers only, and is not available for consumers. EE also sells tablets with 30 day rolling SIMs and 24 month contracts.

For more information, please contact the EE Business press team on: or 020 7544 3735


Anastasia Alden, t: 020 3617 6528 e:

Richard Bell, t: 020 7544 3758 m: 07805 568395 e:

About the research

The research was conducted by One Poll in June 2015 using an online survey of 2,000 UK employees.

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 14,000 employees and 548 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012 and is the first European operator to surpass the 10million 4G customer landmark. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 90% of the UK population. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 74% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's number one network, and top for speed and reliability by RootMetrics®; Best Network at the 2014 and 2015 Mobile News Awards; Fastest Network at the 2013 and 2014 uSwitch Awards; Best Network at the 2014 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and the What Mobile Awards 2013 and 2014; Number One for Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu Awards; Best Mobile Network at the 2014 Recombu Awards; Best Network for Business at the 2013 and 2014 Mobile Industry Awards; and Best Consumer Network at the 2014 Mobile Industry Awards


Follow us on:

Facebook at:

Twitter at:

YouTube at:

LinkedIn at:

About Sunsail

Sunsail have been at the forefront of sailing holidays for over forty years. Since their very first Flotilla set sail from Aegina in the Saronic Gulf in 1974, they’ve expanded to destinations across the globe.

Sunsail prides themselves on their choice of destinations, quality of fleet and their team’s high standards of service and expertise. So from a customer’s initial inquiry to their final booking and beyond, they can trust that every detail is tailored towards creating their perfect sailing holiday experience.

Sunsail has experience sailing in 26 stunning destinations from the Caribbean and South Pacific to the Mediterranean, UK, North America, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

For more information about Sunsail, please visit