HONG KONG: Tablet owners in Hong Kong are increasingly using these devices at the same time as other media channels, new figures show.

GfK, the research firm, reported that tablet sales rose by 44% in 2012 to 1.9m units overall, and surveyed 317 people who had already bought one to gauge if their habits were changing.

Some 49% of interviewees utilised this gadget while watching TV. Another 40% did so as they ate dinner, and 33% when listening to music or using their mobile phone.

"Multi-tasking involving a tablet can be a real benefit to marketers as having a tablet readily at hand allows consumers to easily search for and purchase products seen in TV ads and other media, or download coupons at their convenience," said Walter Leung, managing director, GfK Hong Kong.

Two-thirds of the tablet audience employed these tools several times per day, typically for between one and three hours. A further 70% often used it for longer "than they originally intended to".

Nearly three-quarters of contributors also shared their tablet with other people, and especially family members, the study said.

Accessing social media was the most popular activity among users, ahead of sending and reading email, watching films or TV shows and viewing and uploading photos. Gaming and listening to music followed next in terms of uptake.

The usage of desktopĀ or laptop computers, by contrast, tended to decline after a tablet became available, with magazines witnessing a moderated form of the same trend.

"Tablets are most popularly used at home, and usage peaks at night when consumers are using it concurrently while doing some other activities," said Leung.

"It is mainly in the evening and later at night when people have time catch up with non-work related activities before heading to bed such as emails, social networking, watching TV or movies, photos and video game, etc."

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff