AT&T polled small businesses as part of its just-released 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll. They asked SMBs questions about mobile applications, general wireless technologies, smartphones and tablets.
Here are a few key findings from the survey:
Nearly all small businesses (96%) surveyed use wireless technologies in their operations, with almost two-thirds (63%) indicating that they could not survive — or it would be a major challenge to survive — without wireless technologies.
Despite tablets being a relatively new technology, two-thirds (67%) of small businesses surveyed indicate that they use tablet computers, up from 57% a year ago.
85% of small businesses report using smartphones for their operations, up from 80% last year and more than double the usage of five years ago (42%).
One-third of smartphones used by small businesses are 4G.
Half (50%) of the businesses surveyed that use mobile apps say they could not survive — or it would be a major challenge to survive — without them.
Almost one-third (30%) of small businesses surveyed use mobile apps for their business, primarily to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs.
Among the small businesses surveyed, GPS navigation and mapping are by far the most popular mobile apps (80%), followed by location-based services (44%) and social media marketing (42%).
50% of small businesses indicate that touch screen is the predominant type of keypad in their operation, followed by traditional QWERTY keypads at 21%.
21% indicate that their businesses use both touch and QWERTY smartphone keypads.