Resellers salt fake reviews

fakeSuppliers have been paying computer science experts in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia to write fake glowing reviews for products on partner websites.

According to Guardian Money, fake reviewing has becoming a global business and is making the idea of customer reviews redundant.

Many offer their services to western companies on Freelancer.com, which promotes itself as an international website on which you can “outsource anything you can think of”. Companies simply post their requirements and wait for freelancers to start bidding for the work.

Guardian Money focused on fake reviews which promoted WAE+ which is a Birmingham reseller which claims to flog cheap cameras, flat-screen televisions and computers. It used to be known as We are Electricals. Last year this reseller had the distinction of being Computerworld’s most complained about company. Bogus reviews work was also carried out for a financial services company, AnnuitySupermarket.Com.

It outted “Zahed Kamal” who is a 25-year-old studying computer science and engineering at university in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He made cash on the side posting hundreds of reviews on independent consumer review websites such as Trustpilot and Review Centre. He has 11 jobs posting reviews, which, he says, will earn him £1,130 – which is a lot of dosh from where he comes from. He makes so much cash that he sub-contracts some of the work to others in India and Bangladesh.

What is tricky is that the writer needs to be able to create a unique name, email and internet provider address for each review, and make it look like it is posted in the UK. It does not take much computer expertise to do that, but it does explain why it is a nice little earner for computer science students.

WAE+ was a good example of what is going wrong with the system. Either its reviews were extremely low or extremely good.

In March 2012, an internet culture blogger called Danger Nazi Zombies Ahead (DNZA) analysed WAE+ reviews and found usernames that had posted glowing reviews were also used to post positive reviews of a small set of unrelated companies, based in different countries. Curiously those who bought from Birmingham UK with prices in pounds and thought the outfit was pretty good also bought from an American clothes shop with prices in dollars.

Guardian Money found Kamal, who said he was contracted to post reviews about WAE+ and was contacted through Freelancer.com by someone under the name of “f0rtkn0x” who was believed to be Ben Slater, operations director of WAE+.

Things went badly when someone from his company was fired, started posting bad reviews, and reported all about the reviews WAE+ got from his clients.

WAE+ insisted that there were no false reviews online about WAE+ for which it is knowingly responsible.

Kamal told the Guardian that sometimes he is contracted to put up real reviews that have been sent to a company by customers, but which haven’t been posted on the all-important review sites.
Trustpilot admitted that there was a black market for reviews and it took it very seriously. It also relies on the Trustpilot community to help identify and investigate reviews, further ensuring their quality and authenticity.

Fake reviews are illegal under consumer protection legislation. Apparently reading three negative reviews is enough to change the mind of 63 percent of consumers about making a purchase

Lenovo posts strong profits, beats forecasts

lenovo_hqLenovo has bucked the trend with a stellar quarter, which saw the outfit’s profit and market share soar.

Lenovo reported its earnings on Wednesday and its net profit in the October – December fiscal quarter was $204.9 million, up by a third from a year earlier. Analysts had expected Lenovo to post $178 million net profit, but the outfit outperformed even the most optimistic forecasts. In fact, Lenovo exceeded its previous record of $172, posted back in 2007, before the credit crunch and PC slump.

The company is still trailing Hewlett Packard in terms of global PC market share, but according to IDC, it is narrowing the gap. What’s more, Lenovo is diversifying beyond the PC market and its smartphones and tablets are making their presence felt in China. The same can’t be said of HP, which apparently still thinks it can grow its business by peddling toners and overpriced printer ink.

Although Lenovo phones are somewhat of an oddity in western markets, Lenovo’s mobile business saw its revenues jump 77 percent in the Chinese market, almost hitting the $1 billion mark. So although western consumers don’t see them, Lenovo phones seem to be doing rather well. The company’s mobile internet and digital home business accounted for about one tenth of revenues during quarter and  Lenovo claims its China smartphone business reached profitability for the first time.

Lenovo’s core business is doing fine and its focus on mobile seems to be paying off, at least in China. Lenovo’s Android tablets aren’t big sellers in the west, but they aren’t lemons, either. What’s more, Lenovo is starting to offer an increasing number of high-end ThinkPad tablets on top of its bland Android offerings. It is also in a good position to capitalize on Windows 8 tablets and hybrids. Although the Android tablet market will probably remain dominated by Asus and Samsung, Lenovo might carve out a high-margin niche in Windows 8, if it plays its cards right.

Half of businesses to get Facebook style not working by 2016

gartnerHalf of large enterprises will have an internal social network, similar to Facebook, by 2016, Gartner has claimed.

Although 30 percent of these firms will consider this medium as essential as email and telephones, Gartner also claims that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not hit the high levels required to make this a reality, as a result of inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology

According to Gartner, using Facebook-like enterprise social not-working software for communication has several advantages over email and traditional collaboration methods. The analyst house said this is because software enabled information and events that are traditionally sent in emails can instead be turned into conversations and logged onto one system that everyone can see.

To ensure that businesses made the most of this, Gartner said head honchos must shift their thoughts away from deciding what the best communication technology is and instead focus on how to implement and understand how social networks work – and how they can be integrated into companies.

Currently, businesses are stifled because there is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships.

By 2017, Gartner expects to see companies offering social networking with gamified features – possibly rewarding employees through the social networking on a mobile or PC platform with work incentives.

VMware to fire and hire staff

fireVMware has become the latest company to announce that it will be slashing jobs.

VMware, which reported revenue growth of 22 percent for 2012 compared to 2011, raking in around $4.61 billion, said that it would be handing around seven percent of its 13,800 staff their pink slips as part of a restructuring effort.

The announcement was driven by a slowdown in its 2013 earnings predictions,

However, it said it plans to hire in other areas.

Speaking with analysts, VMware chief exec Pat Gelsinger said a lack of government spending, plus increasing competition from the likes of Microsoft, meant that the company had to focus on specific products and geography.

This means taking away a focus on areas such as its online presentation software, SlideRocket and looking more at software-defined data centres and hybrid cloud services. Translated, this means VMware will slash 900 jobs in areas that are not profitable, where it hopes to save roughly $20 million for the first quarter of 2013.

Gelsinger did say that 1,000 jobs should be created by the end of the year as the company keeps up with competitors in its new focus areas. He said the company will shovel talent into the new roles, which support “growth opportunities” as well looking for new recruits in these areas.

The announcement comes after security software firm Symantec admitted it would be culling management jobs to save cash.

Symantec swings axe at management, plans to rely on resellers

axeSymantec has said it will be culling management jobs as it tries to reorganise its business and save money.

Despite the company announcing a four percent  rise in its fourth quarter profits, at $1.79 billion, CEO Stephen Bennett said he was unhappy with the way the company’s management is run.

He said in previous restructuring exercises Symantec had targeted front line employees and spared the jobs of higher level staff. This meant that the company was left with “too many” layers of management, which wasn’t beneficial.

Speaking to the Dow Jones, Bennett said the axe would swing on three separate occasions, and by the end of June there would be fewer bigger jobs within the sales and  marketing sectors. The company also plans to merge some product lines, which could suggest the axe grinding here, too.

Although he did not divulge how many pink slips will be issued, he admitted the company had saved around $275 million of its budget for severance pay, which the Dow Jones reported could mean 1,500 layoffs, based on the company’s past severance spend.

Bennett said the company will rely on resellers to help it sell consolidated product lines.

However, he hinted that, as a result of a smaller product portfolio, partners could also eventually be reduced.

Magor Communications intros cloud partner programme

clouds3Magor Communications is set to launch the first phase of its new Stratus Partner Programme at a conference later this week.

The visual collaboration company will use the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) conference, which kicks off Jan. 29 in Amsterdam as the mouthpiece for the new initiative, which is claimed to help resellers offer their customers “alternatives to traditional video conferencing.”

The Stratus service is said to work differently from other products as it uses software architecture to apparently allow users to engage and interact on any device.

As it runs through the cloud, the company says there are more opportunities for partners who will be able to leverage the cost reduction of cloud deployment and support many creative use cases for video to their customers.

At ISE the company will be on the search for new partners who are looking at new revenue opportunities. In return the company claims it will give those who join up access to a variety of options for billing, endpoint monetisation, vertical product development and “other benefits.”

ChannelEye will be attending the event and giving you the low down later in the week.

Nvidia reportedly working on phone and tablet reference designs

nvidia-gangnam-style-330pxNvidia has been frantically trying to carve out a foothold in the mobile SoC market over the past couple of years and with every new Tegra generation it saw its number of design wins double.

However, that doesn’t seem to be enough for CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. According to Mobile Review, the chipmaker is planning to kick things up a notch, by directly entering the smartphone and tablet business with a bit of help from its partners.

Nvidia is said to be working on reference smartphone and tablet designs. The designs will be built by contract manufacturers, under Nvidia’s direct control. The partners are apparently small regional players, basically retail chains who already offered cheap Chinese tablets under their brands. It is unclear whether traditional Nvidia AIBs will also join the effort, but it seems more than likely, as some of them have already started making inroads in the tablet space, without Nvidia’s support.

The idea seems to hold water. Nvidia could control the feature sets and performance of reference designs, while regional players could take care of distribution and retail. Nvidia partners could end up with cheap, yet competitive devices capable of taking on first-tier devices with fancier brands. The drive is said to be scheduled for May and June, roughly Computex time, and Mobile Review’s Eldar Murtazin believes tens of 7- and 10-inch tablets based on Nvidia’s reference design could show up.

Nvidia already has extensive reference design experience and plenty of partners in the graphics market, so such an approach would be nothing new for the company. However, last year Nvidia also offered Kai, a reference tablet design based on the Tegra 3 SoC. It did not find many takers. Back at CES, Nvidia unveiled Project Shield, a Tegra 4 gaming console built under its own brand, but we haven’t seen any Tegra 4 design wins yet. The chip is apparently a couple of months behind schedule, due to some technical issues which necessitated a re-spin.

We should see more Tegra 4 gear at the Mobile World Congress and Nvidia is also expected to launch a cheaper, A9-based quad-core SoC in the latter half of the year. The reference design approach could help Nvidia gain quite a bit more design wins this time around, provided it doesn’t flop like Kai.

Triple dip recession threat leaves channel unbothered

gosborneAccording to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the British economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, reflecting wider economic woes in the Eurozone and further afield.

The figures were lower than expected for the last three months of 2012 and have sparked fears that, if the economy does not pick up, the UK will enter an unprecedented ‘triple dip recession’ – although arguably, Britain never left the recession at all. Chancellor George Osborne has warned that tough times still lie ahead for the country, but shirked advice from the International Monetary Fund that he and the Coalition should ease up on the policy of austerity.

On the GDP figures, Osborne said: “We have a reminder today that Britain faces a very difficult economic situation”.

The figures serve as a “reminder that last year was particularly difficult” and that the country faces problems at home “because of the debts built up over many years and problems abroad with the Eurozone, where we export most of our products, in recession”. The opposition accused Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron of being “asleep at the wheel”, although the macroeconomic environment is unrelentingly difficult and both Labour and Conservatives differ on many minutae of policy – with the wider climate beyond their control.

GDP, meanwhile, was flat compared to the same time last year. Production output decreased by 1.8 percent for the quarter, negating a 0.7 percent increase between the second and third quarters. Service industry output was flat from Q3 into Q4, although that followed a 1.2 percent boost between Q2 and Q3 2012.

Britain enjoyed steady GDP growth from 2000 right up until the world markets crashed in 2008, and according to the ONS, the decline of economic conditions in 2008 and up until now has had a significant effect on construction and production – though the service sector wasn’t hit as hard, and is now slowly returning to 2008 levels.

In October last year, channel analyst house Canalys’ CEO, Steve Brazier, said that, despite the difficult economic climate, there is still opportunity in the channel. Although growth was not exactly meteoric, Brazier said that by carefully steering the ship, channel players could weather the storm, although the market will be tough.

 

Senior analyst at Canalys, Rachel Brindley, offered some thoughts to ChannelEye on just what channel players can do to push through the crisis. She tells us the situation isn’t exactly all doom and gloom.

“Some partners will struggle if this economy goes into a triple dip recession,” Brindley said, “but there is a chance that it could happen. That being said, a lot are well placed – those who focus on customer service, keeping existing customers very close, growing their services business an diversifying their portfolio into things like managed services and data centres, will rise to the difficult times we’ve been going through”.

“Generally,” Brindley said, “those that focus on their customers, and diversify their business away from traditional hardware and box shifting will come through OK, it will come down to careful planning and taking opportunities in spaces like the data centre and looking at what’s going on in the networking space”.

Extended warranties are an untapped gold mine

Alaska - Gold MineIn the troubled economic times it is starting to look like resellers are turning to extended warranties as a good way to boost cash.

Buried in Dell’s quarterly results was a surprise statistic which indicated that the importance of the box shifter’s extended warranty program continues to rise.

A few years ago it was twice as large as the product warranty operation, now it’s four times larger and it is accounting for a rising percentage of the company’s total revenue.

Dell has traditionally been a big fan of the extended warranty programme and the idea was nicked by Apple, which has now become the world’s largest peddler of extended warranties.

In its heyday, Dell could control the sales channel from beginning to end through its extended warranty policy, kicking HP which usually sold its computers through retailers. These retailers had their own brands of extended warranty to sell and ended up harming HP’s margins.

The money involved was huge, according to Warranty Week. It estimated that Dell had sold $31.1 billion worth of extended warranties since February 2004, as opposed to the $17.5 billion Apple has sold since October 2003.

Apple saw its extended warranty revenue rocket upwards since the launch of the iPhone in late 2007 and probably matches Dell by now.

All this starts to make it clear why Apple has been so keen to avoid EU laws on warranty. Apple has its AppleCare programme, which is an extended warranty that kicks in after a customer owns a product for longer than a year. EU law says that the warranty for electronic goods should be two years, which makes AppleCare less attractive.

Apple has been in hot water in Italy, and now in Holland, for selling its AppleCare packages without doing enough to tell customers that in most cases they do not need it.

The way resellers can get around all this is to offer extended warranty packages which are more generous than the EU laws. But for this to work, the warranty would still have to expire before the parts on the electronic items start to fall to bits.

Last year, Dell reported $4.3 billion in extended warranty sales revenue, and $1.025 billion in product warranty accruals. Apple sold $5.3 billion worth of AppleCare contracts. It was estimated that the cost of actually fixing Apple products was $1.786 billion in claims paid last year.

This means that even with the large volume of products and the lowering of price of components, the profits that the two biggest warranty peddlers have are extremely high.

Hard drive prices slowly returning to pre-flood levels

hddcloseupThe hard drive industry was hit hard by heavy flooding in Thailand back in 2011. Several plants, providing vital components for Seagate and Western Digital, temporarily went off line following the disaster. The shortage caused a massive surge in hard drive prices and its effects are still being felt.

Keen to provide a bit of perspective, Xbit Labs compiled an interesting chart of hard drive average selling prices, based on data from Seagate’s and Western Digital’s SEC filings over the last four years. Pre-flood average selling prices (ASPs) were between $45 and $55, but they soared to the $70 mark in Q4 2011. The recovery was painfully slow and although some rather optimistic analysts claimed the market would stabilize by mid-2012, we are still feeling the muddy aftertaste of Thai flood water.

According to the latest figures, average selling prices decreased to $62 – $63 per unit and they are still considerably higher than pre-flood prices. Prices are currently at 2008 levels, which means they are still too high for comfort. Of course, the effects of the global economic downturn and recent PC slump were not factored into 2008 pricing and ASPs should be significantly lower today, even after they are adjusted for inflation.
This is bad for consumers and system integrators alike, as they have to adjust their own margins to compensate for the higher prices.  What’s more, hard drive makers are probably not too keen to reduce their ASPs, as further cuts would negatively impact their margins while they are still reeling from flood-related losses. Western Digital CEO Stephen Milligan confirmed the company has more capacity, but it is throttling it to what it sees as demand, which is a polite way of saying WD is trying to keep prices artificially high.

It is even worse for end consumers looking to upgrade their PCs or get some cheap portable storage. Back in mid-2011, per-terabyte retail prices were at their lowest point, about €25 in European markets and a 2TB 3.5-inch drive cost roughly €50. By November 2011, per-terabyte prices hit €35 to €38 and they went on to peak at €50 to €55 by April 2012. Retail prices today are still significantly higher than in 2011 and they are in the €38 to €40 range across Europe.

Xbit also concluded that ASPs peaked in Q4 2011. In the meantime, SSD prices continued to tumble, but SSDs are still too costly to completely replace traditional hard drives. However, SSD shipments are expected to double in 2013, as they are the preferred storage option for Ultrabooks.

Hybrid drives are also entering the fray and they can be found in quite a few budget ultrathin notebooks, although their days in proper Ultrabooks are numbered. So far Seagate is the only hard drive maker to offer 2.5-inch hybrid drives in retail, but Western Digital is also entering the market and it showed off its first consumer friendly hybrid drives at CES.

Traditional hard drives are not going anywhere yet and it is evident that WD and Seagate have enough room to maintain a huge price advantage over SSDs, as they are artificially inflating prices. They can’t bridge the performance and power consumption gap, but by offering hybrid drives they can bring the best of both worlds to value-minded consumers.

 

Apple’s down but it’s far from out

Apple, iPadConsumer behemoth Apple reported its first quarter financial results yesterday and while it posted revenues of $54.5 billion and a net profit of $13.1 billion, compared to revenues of $46.3 billion and profits of $13.1 billion in the same financial quarter last year, profits were flat.

Gross margin fell to 38.6 percent compared to 44.7 percent in the same quarter last year. Apple is forecasting gross margins between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent for its second quarter, with estimated revenues between $41 billion and $43 billion.

So, what’s the problem? CEO Tim Cook said that supply problems were a matter to be concerned about, despite media reports.  And Apple has got a stash of cash in its corporate coffers – not far short of $137 billion in both liquid ashes and in cash.  That gives it a pot of gold that would let it buy other companies to make a splash in new or other developing markets.

A bigger problem is its existing slew of products, including the wildly successful iPad and the solidly popular iPhone.  It does face a challenge on the tablet front – particularly so from Google and Amazon devices.  Microsoft Windows 8 using Intel chips may not be so much of a challenge.  Intel cannot necessarily lower the price of its microprocessors, given its business model and Microsoft appears to believe that tablet devices running the touch version of Windows 8 should command the same prices as Apple iPads, or be even more expensive.

Apple’s share price (AAPL: Nasdaq), stood at $460.15 at press time.

New generation Intel ultrabooks set to drive SSD growth this year

ssdA new wave of low-cost and attractive Ultrabooks could help double shipments of solid-state drives (SSDs) this year, IHS iSuppli has said.

According to the analyst company’s Storage Space Market Brief worldwide SSD shipments are set to rise to 83 million units this year, up from 39 million in 2012.

Shipments are set to continue to rise 239 million units in 2016, which the company said amounted to around 40 percent of the size of the hard disk drive (HDD) market.

SSDs can serve as an alternative to hard disk drives in personal computers and work by storing data using NAND flash memory semiconductors rather than through traditional rotating media.

In its report, IHS looked at traditional solid state drives in both the consumer and enterprise segments, as well as cache SSDs that along with an HDD component make up a composite storage products such as those found in Intel’s Ultrabooks.

The company said that Ultrabooks had played a part in the slump of SSDs last year. It said that despite SSD shipments rising by 124 percent, growth  had fallen short of expectations because sales faltered – due to poor marketing, high prices and a lack of appealing features.

It said the future depended on the new generation of Ultrabooks, which if, as predicted, take off this year, will see the SSD market growing at robust levels.

Intel, which has been plagued by poor Ultrabook sales despite all of its bluster, is still trying to break into the market, introducing a new range loaded with Windows 8 and Haswell microprocessor architecture.

However, other factors are also involved when it comes to the SSD market, with IHS pointing out that average selling prices for NAND flash memory have come down, in the process establishing new price expectations.

The lower prices are attracting deal-seeking consumer enthusiasts, as well as an increasing number of PC manufacturers that are now more willing to install the once-costly drives into computers.

Over in the enterprise sector, SSD use is also growing as a result of product introductions from major vendors and startups.

Ingram Micro makes changes to top level staff

IMIngram Micro is making some changes to its employee and portfolio line up.

Over the week the distie has announced a range of movers and shakers within its senior management level.

Yesterday it said it was saying goodbye to its executive vice president and chief information officer Mario Leone who was leaving the company at the beginning of March.

The company is yet to announce a successor for Leone who had been at the firm for four years, however, has said that while it looks for a suitable candidate Nimesh Dave,

Ingram Micro executive vice president, global business process and cloud computing, would step in and take responsibility and oversight of the company’s worldwide information and business systems.

And it seems the company is also making some top level changes over in North America with the news that it has promoted Kirk Robinson to senior vice president, Commercial Markets and Global Accounts for this region.

The promotion will mean that Robinson who has been with the company for 20 years, will now oversee ownership of the distributor’s global accounts and supervision of additional strategic key business units. He will also be responsible for managing the business leaders responsible for Ingram’s SMB, public sector and VAR business units.

Singing his praises the company said throughout his career with Ingram Micro, Robinson had made a “notable impact” on the success of its sales teams and was responsible for leading key initiatives including the launch of the distributor’s proprietary Business Intelligence Centre in 2009, which had “since grown into one of the company’s most valuable service differentiators.”

It added that under Robinson’s leadership, the commercial markets division and its SMB business unit had “reached record growth rates” and enabled hundreds of new channel partners.

Robinson joined Ingram Micro in 1993 as a sales representative and worked his way up to sales director. In 2003, he moved into the marketing department as senior director, channel programs and in 2004 he was promoted to customer and solutions marketing vice president. In September 2006, Robinson was named vice president of North America channel marketing. Then, in May 2010, he was appointed vice president of VAR sales, market development and business intelligence. Shortly thereafter, Robinson became the vice president of Ingram Micro’s US commercial markets business.

But it doesn’t end there, as well as promoting and losing staff, the company has also said that it will be making bigger moves in the physical security marketplace,  announcing that HID Global’s secure identity products will now be available to its US channel partners through the Ingram Micro North America Physical Security Business Unit.

The company said it had added this as security threats became more complex and business needed more robust services. It added this presented a growing business opportunity for channel partners specialising in this space.

Acer suffers in weak PC market, moves to ditch value brand

acer-logo-ceAcer is taking a beating on the back of a slow PC market and fears that it expanded too much, too quickly.

The Taiwanese outfit is the fourth largest PC maker in the world, and it peaked in 2010, when it briefly ranked second. However, things have gone downhill and on Wednesday Acer announced it expects to post a full-year net loss for the second consecutive year. It is also looking at a $120.1 million write-down on several value brands under its umbrella.

During the PC boom in the late nineties and early 2000s, Acer went on a massive shopping spree and picked up a number of value brands, including Packard Bell, Gateway, eMachines and E-Ten. The write down on said brands dragged Acer to a net loss and the company plans to discontinue the eMachines brand altogether.

Other PC makers are facing similar challenges, as they struggle to reinvent themselves and gain a toehold in emerging sectors, like smartphones and tablets. Acer has a small presence in both sectors.

The company’s phone business is practically negligible and its attempt to expand its presence in China in 2012, with smartphones based on Aliyun, a heavily customized Android-based OS, was promptly ditched after Google threatened to cancel the company’s Android license. Acer had a bit more luck with Android tablets and it is moving into the Windows 8 tablet space as well, but its efforts have been overshadowed by the likes of Asus and Samsung.

Even as it struggles to remain competitive in the PC market, burdened by underperforming value brands, Acer prospects in the heavily contested smartphone and tablet markets look even bleaker.

Brokerage houses Nomura Holdings and UBS are anything but optimistic and UBS cut its target price and maintained the “sell” rating on Acer stock after the report. Nomura was somewhat kinder, but it also maintained its “reduce” rating on Acer, Taipei Times reports.

“Longer term, we think Acer still needs to face the reality of how to rebuild the brand positioning/image for Packard Bell and Gateway amid intense competition and slowing PC industry growth,” said Nomura analyst Eve Jung.

Tablets set to take more PC market share

Apple iPadA market research company said that tablets are set to cannibalise more PC sales as their popularity continues to grow.

ABI Research estimates that 145 million tablets will ship this year, with 50 percent of sales outside the USA. Price, new entrants to the market and increased shipments into enterprise will help drive the growth.

Business sales will account for as much of 19 percent during 2013, and a variety of slates using Intel chips and Windows 8 will begin to make more impact this year, according to Jeff Orr, senior director at ABI.

Meanwhile Israeii company Perion said it conducted a survey of 4,400 iPad users about how they used their machines.  Ninety percent of those surveyed said they used their iPads to read and write email.

Women are more likely to read and write emails from their pads, while the favourite app is Apple Mail at 41 percent, Gmail at 31 percent and Hotmail at 13 percent. Eighteen percent of people use browsers to access webmail rather than using clients.