The Apple iPad still dominates the market; 81 percent of tablet owners that were surveyed own the Apple product.
Eighteen months after the
introduction of the Apple iPad, 11 percent of U.S. adults now own a tablet
computer of some kind, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research
Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The
Economist Group. The study found that the vast majority of tablet owners-fully
77 percent-use their tablet every day, spending an average of about 90 minutes
Sending and receiving email
(54 percent email daily on their tablet) was a popular reason for owning a
tablet device, along with social networking (39 percent), gaming (30 percent),
reading books (17 percent), or watching movies and videos (13 percent). Outside
of consuming news, the only activity people said they were more likely to do on
their tablet computer daily is browse the Web generally (67 percent).
Half of those with a tablet
share it with other members of the household. And the iPad still dominates the
market; 81 percent of tablet owners surveyed own the Apple product. The study
found one reason early tablet adopters may have integrated the devices so
significantly into their daily lives is tied to the demographic profile of the
tablet-owning population. In general, they are middle-aged, higher-income
working individuals who follow the news more closely and more frequently than
the population overall.
The Pew report probed at
three different levels the behavior of 1,159 tablet users and 894 who consume
news on their tablets weekly. The study, conducted in the summer and early fall
of 2011, assessed the penetration of tablets and the general activities people
use their tablets for across a representative sample of the U.S. population.
The study also probed into how tablet users get different kinds of news and
information on these devices and asked them to evaluate their experience using
the device, including how that experience relates to other platforms.
The study, executed by
Princeton Survey Research Associates International, involved a survey of the
general public and three separate surveys. The first was a general population
survey. The next two surveys were conducted with a Pew Research Center panel of
more than 1,000 tablet users. The panel was developed through interviews with
40,000 U.S. adults. A telephone survey was conducted with 1,159 tablet users and
894 tablet news users, and a Web-based survey was conducted among a select
group of those news users about their news habits over the past seven days.
The survey also found that 3
in 10 tablet news users (defined for the study as the 77 percent of all tablet
users who get news at least weekly) say they now spend more time getting news
than they did before they had their tablets. Whether people will pay for
content, though, still appears to be a challenge, even on the tablet. Just 14
percent of these tablet news users have paid directly for news content on their
tablets. Another 23 percent, though, have a subscription to a print newspaper
or magazine that they say includes digital access.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.