Home Usage Dominates as "Sofa Surfers" and "Bedroom Browsers" Drive Early Tablet Adoption

Findings from our 2011 Tablet User Survey

CCS Insight's latest publication, Tablet User Survey, uncovers fascinating details about why people across Europe buy tablets like Apple's iPad and what they do with them. Principal findings include:

  • The living room and the bedroom are the most popular places for people to use their tablet
  • Over 90% of owners use their tablet for at least an hour every day
  • Non-iPad users use their tablets more than buyers of iPads
  • More than half of tablet owners take their device on holiday, but just 15% use them while commuting

Sofa Surfers and Bedroom Browsers are the early adopters in the tablet market as consumers substitute laptops and netbooks for lighter, more portable devices they can use around the home.

Almost 80% of the total 4,500 respondents to our survey said they're using their tablets in the living room. In the UK and France, nearly seven in ten use it in the bedroom, while almost four in 10 Europeans log-on in the kitchen.

"Previously, people had to leave the room and sit down at a computer to use the Internet. A tablet offers a more convenient and social means of access, allowing users to join in with family activities while remaining on-line," commented Martin Garner, Senior Vice President, Internet, at CCS Insight.

Tablet use on holiday is also popular, with 58% of owners packing the device in their suitcase. "The Internet is now so tightly built into many people's daily lives that they want to continue the connected lifestyle when they take a break from work," added Garner.

Tablet usage among commuters is surprisingly low — just 15% take their tablet when travelling to and from work. We believe that people want to use tablets in this way, but that the cost of 3G tariffs and limited availability of Wi-Fi are encouraging people to opt for e-readers like Amazon's Kindle instead.

Our survey also showed that only 7% of owners use their tablet mainly for work, compared with 60% who use it mainly for leisure. "This statistic will alarm tablet-makers that are trying to sell devices to the enterprise market," said Garner. "Business customers will not engage with tablets until they see a vast improvement in enterprise software on tablets."

Consumers in the UK are the heaviest users of tablets in the six European markets surveyed, averaging 2.8 hours a day. An overwhelming 95% of UK tablet owners use their device for at least an hour a day and 11% are online for more than five hours each day, according to the survey.

Interestingly, non-iPad owners are recording an average of 30 minutes more usage a day than people with Apple iconic device. This trend was evident in all markets surveyed. "We found that younger people are more likely to own cheaper non-Apple devices, and that these users tend to be most engaged with social networks," said Garner.

About Tablet User Survey

CCS Insight conducted the survey in August 2011. It polled 4,500 tablet owners in six European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Respondents completed the survey on their tablet. The survey comprised users of tablets from Apple and other manufacturers.

Tablet User Survey is CCS Insight's newest product in a range of research publications. It assesses all aspects of tablet usage and purchasing behaviour. It takes the form of a PowerPoint report and a presentation of findings to clients. It is updated twice a year.

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global telecommunications analyst company providing comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of each customer. We help our clients make sense of the connected world.

For more information about Tablet User Survey, please contact us.

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