How tablets are changing how we use tech


Nielsen has come out with some interesting research on tablet usage in the US and associated changes in the use of other devices.

Source: Nielsen

It seems that some of the data may simply reflect changes in usage rather than the direct impact of the use of tablets.

For example, Nielsen highlights the fact that 25% of people are using their portable gaming consoles less after having bought a tablet. However they neglect to note that 26% say they are using them MORE after having bought a tablet.

What certainly comes out is that the biggest impact is on usage of desktop computers, even more than laptop computers. Over three-quarters of tablet users (77%) report doing on tablets at least some of the things they were doing on desktops or laptops before.

On the other hand, tablet users report using Internet TV and smartphones MORE than they did before acquiring their tablet.

More generally, I’m sure that tablets support TV viewing, as the portability of the device means that working on a computer and watching TV in are no longer mutually exclusive activities done in different rooms.

There are multiple impacts on the use of smartphones, with some phone activities supplanted by tablets, but others, such as synchronized to-do lists, more likely to be used since they can be done across the devices.

The negative impact (24%) on the use of e-readers is not surprising, but the positive impact (16%) is intriguing. Possibly the difference in screen quality and legibility brings people to digital ink-based e-readers for book reading, once they see the difference.

What really comes out is the breadth of the impact of the rapid rise of tablets. Their combination of portability and convenience (see below) together with the scope of activities that are possible mean that our usage of almost all other tech devices is impacted in some way. From TV to gaming to traditional desktop work and far more, tablets touch.

We will need frequent updates to discover quite how tablets are changing how we use the panoply of other devices in our lives.

Source: Nielsen