Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller discuss features of the new iPad during an event in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Now that Apple has announced that the new iPad will have a sharper screen and faster wireless, the tablets may become an even more popular productivity tool among business owners. A study released by the Business Journals Tuesday showed that iPad usage has quadrupled among small and medium-sized businesses over the past year.

In 2010, iPads were in use at 9 percent of SMBs, and that number reached 34 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, 75 percent of business owners report being “very or somewhat familiar” with the device.

“Our research has shown that for SMB owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility,” Godfrey Phillips, vice president of research at The Business Journals, said in a statement. “Now, it’s crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data, anytime and anywhere. The iPad, as well as smart phones and cloud computing, are all part of this new trend and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need.”

The study also found that iPad users at SMBs are highly educated, with 72 percent having a college education and their annual household incomes average $176,000.

For the study, which will be available March 31, the Business Journals surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,400 business owners, CEOs and presidents of companies with 5-499 employees.