By Claire West

An explosion of businesses purchasing tablet devices like the Apple iPad will fuel the ‘business application’ revolution according to Mark Mason, CEO of the UK’s largest application developer - Mubaloo.

The survey of 1,641 companies discovered that 7% of businesses were equipping staff with tablet devices — with the iPad being the most popular.

“Many companies already provide SmartPhones to all of their employees, across the enterprise, with ‘apps’ that will do everything from improving employee collaboration, extending their brands to simplifying business processes,” said Mr Mason. “Tablet devices are the next step and allow individual ‘business apps’ even greater functionality.”

The survey by ChangeWave also discovered that a massive 14% of businesses were planning to purchase tablet devices in the first quarter of 2011.

“Apps are the exciting new channel to market. They are functional specific mobile experiences which will provide organisations with a personal and direct link to their clients, partners, employees, suppliers and prospects. Companies which understand this have the opportunity to forge ahead of their competitors.”

Mubaloo builds SmartPhone and tablet applications for companies who want to take advantage of the massive growth in this market.

The company has built an impressive list of blue-chip clients including some of the world’s biggest financial, technology, communications and beverage corporations. They include AXA Insurance, The AA, William Hill, Samsung, Carphone Warehouse, Experian, Lovefilm and Heineken.

Apple iPads are proving as popular in the domestic market and according to online specialists Experian Hitwise the most commonly searched-for Christmas gift was the iPad.