Apple iPad owners tend to be older and have more money, but as tablets have become more mainstream and more widely distributed, those high-end demographics are shifting, according to a study from NPD Group. The market research firm's report, "Tablet Adoption and Insights Report," found that more than 40 percent of iPad owners have a household income of $100,000 or more, compared with 26 percent of non-iPad owners.
The survey indicated more recent tablet owners make less money and are younger than the early adopters, with buyers at the end of 2011 being 50 percent more likely to have an income under $45,000 and 33 percent more likely to be under 34 years of age.
As the demographic of the tablet owner continues to change, the tablet market is beginning to take on a new role, said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. We are seeing some of the tasks traditionally performed on devices, such as PCs, now being performed on the tablet. In fact, all five of the top activities shifted toward the tablet between early and late 2011.
Regardless of usage trends, the vast majority of consumers are not rejecting other devices. Only 10 percent of tablet owners have decided they dont need a PC notebook that they were once considering. This same trend is also reflected among non-tablet owners, 26 percent of whom say they are likely to buy a notebook in the next year, while just 18 percent say they will purchase a tablet.
Even as consumers increasingly use tablets for tasks that were once exclusively done on their PC, they continue to plan new PC purchases, said Baker. Usage is still evolving and most people, being inherently conservative in their device outlook, continue to hedge their bets on their device preference by planning to maintain an array of products to afford them maximum flexibility.
Tablet sales got a tremendous boost by holiday shoppers, according to a recent study from the Pew Internet Project, which found ownership of the devices among U.S. adults rose from 10 percent to 19 percent from mid-December to early January. Thanks to those holiday shoppersand recipients29 percent of adults are now thought to own at least one such device, up from 18 percent in mid December.
Across nearly all demographics, ownership of tablets jumped from single-digit to double-digit percentages from November 2010 to mid-January. Currently, ownership is highest in households with an annual income greater than $75,000 (36 percent, compared with 22 percent in mid-December).
More than 1,114 U.S. consumers completed the survey through NPDs online panel in December 2011. (A pre-identified sample of 3,600 tablet owners were part of the survey, the company said.)