Tablets impact media habits

05 July 2012

NEW YORK: Consumers are "moving" several media activities away from other devices in favour of tablets like Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle Fire, a multimarket study has shown.

Gartner, the insights provider, asked 500 people owning tablets in Australia, the UK and US to keep seven-day diaries, to see how these devices were impacting their PC and mobile phone usage.

According to the findings, the "main activities moving from PCs to media tablets" included checking email, a shift observable among 81% of contributors, and reading the news, on 69%.

Such totals stood at 63% for getting updates on the weather forecast, 62% when discussing social networking and 60% regarding gaming.

"The rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content," Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said.

One piece of evidence supporting this trend was that contributors used their personal computers 20% less often at the weekend.

Elsewhere, over 50% of consumers utilising gadgets like the iPad were found to prefer reading newspapers, magazines and books on screens rather than on paper.

As an example of similar processes being at work, a third of participants browsed a book in this way, as did 13% on a "mobile PC" – say, a laptop or netbook – and 7% on a mobile phone.

Some 87% of the sample used tablets when in the living room, reaching 65% for the bedroom and 47% for the kitchen. Weekday evenings were the most popular time for this.

Respondents tended to purchase tablets instead of a computer due to their convenience, size and weight. A further 45% of interviewees did not share this device with anyone else.

Turning to mobile, 74% of the panel read and sent email via this device, standing at 57% for using social networks, 42% for gaming, and 40% for both checking the news and listening to music.

Watching live TV posted just a 5% uptake, although viewing on-demand content registered a somewhat higher 15% on this metric.

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff