Nearly a third of U.S. Internet users already own a tablet


According to findings recently published by the Online Publishers Association, a research-based consulting firm called Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. discovered that tablet adoption in the United States has risen to 31 percent in 2012 reaching nearly 75 million users. During 2011, an identical study conducted by the firm had found that only 12 percent (28.3 million users) had jumped headfirst into the tablet market. Looking forward to 2013, the research firm predicts that tablet adoption will grow to over 117 million people or 47 percent of Internet users in the United States. It may prove difficult for Microsoft to capture a significant market share in the tablet market at this point due to existing established brands.

amazon-kindle-fireAndroid tablets have made a strong push for market share during 2012, namely due to sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. In fact, consumers are evenly split between Android and iOS tablets instead of Apple’s dominance of the tablet market during 2011. However, the BlackBerry brand seems to be failing as Playbook adoption has only dropped year-over-year. 

Regarding customer satisfaction, Apple still has a lead over Android devices by about five percent. However, the majority of users are either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” about their tablet purchase regardless of the operating system.   

Specific to gender, women are more likely to use a tablet this year compared to last year while men are less likely. In addition, the average age of a tablet user in the United States has increased by eight percent, specifically rising for people between the ages of 35 to 54. Alternatively, children, teenagers and young adults are less likely to use a tablet. Regarding household income, people living in a household that makes more than $50,000 per year are much more likely to own a tablet than households making up to $50,000 per year. 

Sixty percent of the respondents use their tablet several times a day and the average amount of time spent using a tablet clocked in at nearly fourteen hours per week. The most popular time to pull out the tablet and browse the Web or fire up Netflix was between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., typically when the average American gets home from work. While the majority of respondents used tablets at home, other popular places includes during school or work, during the daily commute or while shopping. 

tablet-watching-tvSimilar to other studies, the most popular activity to do while on a tablet is watch Internet video and the most popular videos are short news clips, sports clips, weather forecasts and television show clips.

Other popular forms of video played on tablets includes user-generated content on YouTube, movie trailers, music videos, full-length movies and television shows as well as live sporting events. In addition, tablet users like to multitask while the HDTV is on. Eighty-five percent of respondents use a tablet while watching television and 66 percent add a third device into the mix such as a laptop.

Regarding apps, 30 percent of respondents have spent at least $30 on applications during 2012 and iPad users are far more likely to purchase applications than Android tablet owners. Sixty percent of tablet owners have purchased some form of premium content which could include digital magazines, books, newspaper subscriptions, movies or television shows. When comparing free apps with advertisements against premium applications, users prefer saving their money and looking at advertisements on “freemium” applications.