My Take on Tablets
Robert Underwood, Senior Sector Specialist – Media Sector
It probably doesn’t take a formal study to tell you that tablet use is on the rise. Just look to your friends, family and colleagues for evidence of the growing popularity of these handy devices. In fact, our research shows that the percentage of people who chose the tablet as one of their top three devices rose from 17% to 26% in 2011 – a greater than 50% increase year on year.
That’s a big deal – especially when you take a closer look at responses by generation. Gen Xers (29-45 year olds as defined in this survey) are the group most likely to place tablets in their top three. This is a generation that is smack in the middle of their prime working years, so the downstream effects of this rising popularity are likely to be significant. Based on these findings, I expect tablets to play a significant and growing role in the workplace for the foreseeable future.
Generational trends aren’t the only interesting nugget from our findings on tablets in the State of the Media Democracy survey. I was also intrigued by our finding that just under half of all tablet owners (47%) have used these devices in place of their laptops while traveling. Conventional wisdom would peg a higher percentage.
Meanwhile, 51% say they use the tablet in place of their laptops while at home. Could it be that despite being mobile-enabled, tablets are evolving as a primarily in-home media device? That’s certainly how many media companies are viewing tablets these days – as a tool that functions more as a second home for TV programming than a mobile media consumption device. Of course, mobile bandwidth availability and pricing likely has a big impact on these patterns.
How will we use tablets to consume media a year from now? That’s anybody’s guess. But if the past year is any indication, well, expect the unexpected.