IPad Killing Printer Use, Paper Sales [Survey]

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Printer use and paper sales have both dropped since the iPad launched

If you think about it, printers are probably the worst-designed gadgets in our homes (unless you own the same awful Samsung Behold as I do). But despite the mythical advance of the paperless office, nobody has been able to kill them off. Until now. A new survey says that the iPad has finally doomed the printer, and is even saving trees.

The survey [PDF], conducted by Morgan Stanley Research and named “Tablet Demand and Disruption,” shows that as tablet adoption in business has grown, so the use of paper and printers has dropped. And for tablets here we can read “iPad,” as nothing else is really selling in significant numbers.

Morgan Stanley surveyed 700 tablet users in the U.S and found that 46 percent of them had reduced their printer use. It makes total sense. Even the Lady, a die-hard paper user, took her iPad to some official place or other last month to have them scan a barcode straight from the screen.

And it’s not just the manufacturers of junky, overpriced printers that are in trouble. According top the same survey, paper shipments have dropped 9 percent since the iPad launched. This is correlational rather than causal, but a startling number nonetheless.

As somebody who tossed out his printer years ago, this makes me very happy. That’s not to say the iPad is an environmental savior. After all, it takes a lot more resources to make a tablet than a ream of paper, but then again, if you already have the iPad, every saving comes on top of that. Now, if European airlines would just let me use my iPad instead of a boarding pass, I could finally go paper free (except in the bathroom, of course).

[Via Apple Insider]