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Tablets Reaching Critical Mass in the U.S., comScore Says

20 Jun, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

RESTON, Va. – One in every four smartphone users are now using tablets, according to a comScore survey from a three-month period ending April of this year.

Tablet users were also found to be three more times likely to watch video on their device compared to smartphone users, with one in 10 tablet users viewing video content almost daily on their device, comScore found.

“Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and perhaps most notably, in the home,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “It’s not surprising to see that once consumers get their hands on the first tablet, they are using them for any number of media habits including TV viewing.”

In April 2012, 16.5 percent of mobile phone subscribers used a tablet, representing an increase of 11.8 percentage points in the past year. Growth in market penetration was even more apparent among the smartphone population with nearly one in four using a tablet device in April, an increase of 13.9 percentage points in the past year. A lower 10.4 percent of feature phone owners use a tablet, suggesting that smartphone ownership is highly predictive of tablet adoption in the current market, comScore said.

 demographic analysis of mobile device audiences indicated that tablet and smartphone audiences closely resemble each other in terms of gender composition, with tablet users just slightly more likely to be female than smartphone users.

“However, the age composition of audiences showed that tablet users skewed noticeably older than smartphone users,” comScore said. “For both devices, the heaviest overall audience concentration was between the ages of 25 and 44. Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18 to 24.”

Tablet users also skewed towards upper income households, likely a function of the high price point of these devices still considered a luxury good to many consumers. Nearly three in five tablet users resided in households with income of $75,000 or greater, compared to one in every two smartphone users.

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