Tablet adoption among SMBs has increased rapidly — reaching more than 3 percent in the past year alone — and that number will increase nearly 1000 percent to between 30 percent to 35 percent by 2015, according to a recent report by AMI-Partners, a small and medium-sized business research and consulting firm. The findings highlight the technology opportunity that exists for service businesses to pull ahead of the competition.

InformationWeek’s Kevin Casey summed up the report’s findings, pointing out that the three percent adoption rate for SMBs, identified by AMI as organizations with between 1 and 1000 workers, has been achieved in a single year.

What trends are driving tablet adoption among the SMB set? Casey points to several indicators: Although the iPad remains the dominant player in the space — a position Apple will likely enjoy throughout 2011 according to eWeek — other vendors are releasing their own versions of the tablet. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, set to be released this summer, is lighter and slightly smaller than the iPad, making it easier for techs in the field to carry the devices. ITBusinessEdge has a helpful slideshow, which identifies the pros and cons of 10 new or soon-to-be-released tablets for the SMB set, including the iPad, HP TouchPad and the Motorola Zoom.

AMI expects decreasing prices and an explosion of low-cost (or free) business apps to be a primary driver of tablet adoption among SMBs through 2015. AMI predicts that the cost of tablets will drop by 50 percent by 2013 — a trend that, if it comes to pass, should further strip away managers’ anxiety of folding in new business technologies to their service departments.

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