We continue to see more and more confirmation of the phenomenon of mobile devices, most notably tablets and smartphones. These two types of gadgets have in some ways become the true personal computers (PCs), fed by thousands and thousands of apps. Every individual who owns a smartphone or tablet decides which apps will join the default ones.
According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of all Americans use smartphones. Another 35% use cell phones other than smartphones, and 9% do not use cell phones at all. Of the smartphone owners, this includes 28% on Android phones and 25% on iPhones. Smartphone ownership, while substantial across all demographic groups, is highest among the 18-29 age bracket, the Black community, the college educated, city and suburban dwellers, and higher-income earners.
Another Pew study reports that e-reader usage has grown steadily, from just 2% in the Spring of 2009 to a solid 24% in September 2013. Tablet usage was a mere 3% in the Spring of 2010. As of September 2013, 35% of American adults own a tablet, suggesting that while there is a substantial base for reading-focused devices, the portable access to a much wider variety of information, entertainment, and other features of tablets result in a compelling product . With the holiday season approaching, Apple just announcing updated iPads, and its competitors releasing their own tablets, one would expect the upward trend to continue.
According to data released by Frank N. Magid Associates, reported on by eMarketer and others, consumers are showing a strong and growing preference for smartphones and tablets. Magid measured the adoption of these devices among a population of mobile phone owners, starting from 2011 and projecting into 2014. The growth of both types of devices has been nothing short of phenomenal. The penetration of smartphones was at 49% in 2011; it's expected to reach 80% in 2014. Tablet growth has been soaring, from 20% in 2011 to a projected 64% in 2014, amazing when you consider that the first iPad appeared in April 2010. Online consumption of entertainment is supplementing and sometimes replacing television as the preferred medium. According to the Magid study, in the 18-34 age bracket, 35% watch content primarily on a smartphone or tablet, 34% on a PC or laptop, and 21% on television. The trend is even stronger within the Hispanic population.
Perhaps one explanation for this sea change is that there are infinite content choices online and the lightweight portability of smartphones and tablets make these devices even more personal than are personal computers. Last night, for example, yahoo.com streamed a free Paul McCartney concert that was viewable on the iPhone or iPad, and easy to watch on a larger TV via the wifi connection of an AppleTV device. In essence, you could walk around the house watching the concert or you could enjoy it on a more traditional TV. It's giving the consumers what they want, when they want it, and in the format they prefer.
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.
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