Warc Blog

Tablet usage patterns differ

31 October 2012
NEW YORK: The typical tablet user is both older and more likely to use their device for long periods of time than the typical smartphone user, a report from Flurry Analytics has shown.

The US digital research firm also revealed that there was a near 50/50 split in the gender of tablet owners, whereas 56% of smartphone users were male.

Flurry used data from around 6bn app interactions, taking place on 500m devices, as well as demographic data from around 30m consumers.

According to the report, the average age of a smartphone owner is 30 years old, compared to 34 for tablets.

Age disparities are widest among 18 to 24-year-olds, accounting for 21% of smartphone owners and 14% of tablet owners. These positions were reversed for over-55s, who made up just 7% of the smartphone audience but 17% of tablet owners.

In analysis accompanying the data, Flurry suggested that the gender variations in particular represented an unusual pattern.

"Traditionally, males adopt technology devices more than women," the report stated. "With an even gender split for tablets, this bucks the trend, indicated that tablets likely have more long-term mass-market appeal."

Flurry's figures also indicated that tablets and smartphones are being put to very different uses. In all, 67% of time spent on iPads and similar devices were spent gaming, with a further 10% spent social networking.

There was a more even split for smartphones, with gaming taking a 39% share and social media 24%.

Consumers were found to be taking a "little and often" approach to smartphone app engagement, using these services 12.9 times a week on average, for 4.1 minutes per session. By contrast, tablet apps received an average of 8.2 minutes' use, and overall session numbers were lower on 9.5 per week.

In terms of overall usage patterns, Flurry detected a bigger "spike" in the overall percentage of owners using tablets during the hours of 7pm to 10pm, while smartphone usage was more evenly allocated throughout waking hours.

"This would indicate that tablets are more often used alongside, or instead of television viewing than smartphones," the report added.


Data sourced from Flurry; additional content by Warc staff

 
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