While most expect the addressable tablet market to be limited to consumers, at least initially, enterprise adoption of Apple’s iPad has been one of the biggest surprises in the early days of the tablet market and the growth is going strong, according to a new report from Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com).

It’s estimated that in next five years the demand for tablets will increase five fold in the enterprise segment as most of Fortune 500 companies had either deployed or are piloting the device, says the research group.

According to a recently published report by TechSci Research, the global tablet market is expected to reach US$77.5 billion by 2016 with a CAGR [compund average growth rate] of around 35%, where most of the demand would be driven by consumer market. However, the U.S. tablet market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of around 25.4% till 2016 and at least 30% demand would be driven by enterprise segment in next five years. Initially, the device is expected to be used majorly by top management followed by sales & marketing staff in the enterprise segment.

According to Karan Chechi, research director with TechSci Research, in 2011, 90% of enterprises preferred deploying the iPad, which clearly shows the lead Apple has generated in the enterprise segment as well. The other tablets based on operating systems such Android, Windows and QNX commanded merely 10% share. In the U.S. tablets are fast becoming a must-have gadget for executives as most of them tend to be using it multiple times a day which is a positive sign towards enterprise adoption. The device is currently being used for checking emails, surfing web, presentations, create content and taking notes.