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Gartner Survey Identifies the Top-Five Daily Activities Done on Media Tablets

July 3, 2012
EGHAM, U.K.—July 3, 2012—People have quickly begun using media tablets for daily personal activities, according to a new survey by Gartner Inc. The survey found that the main activities moving from PCs to media tablets are checking email (81 percent of respondents), reading the news (69 percent), checking the weather forecast (63 percent), social networking (62 percent) and gaming (60 percent).

Gartner conducted the study at the end of 2011 in the United States, U.K. and Australia to gain a better understanding of how early adopters of media tablets were using personal connected devices. The survey was run as an online seven-day diary in which respondents recorded what they did with their three most used devices (media tablets, mobile phones and PCs [desk-based or mobile]) on a daily basis.

“The rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “The survey found that more than 50 percent of media tablet owners prefer to read news, magazines and books on screen, rather than on paper. On average, one in three respondents used their media tablets to read a book, compared with 13 percent for mobile PCs, and 7 percent for mobile phones.”

At present, the shift from paper to screen-based consumption is not yet a straight substitution of one medium for another. “We do not believe that the ‘paperless home’ will prevail, but it is clear that the ‘less-paper model’ is the new reality,” said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“The ongoing convergence of previously distinct devices seems to be turning the market for consumer devices from hardware-centric to usage-centric,” said Escherich. “Other than their tablets, most respondents also owned PCs, TVs and mobile phones. The respondents, early adopters of media tablets, said they use their multiple devices interchangeably, rather than substituting one device for another.

“They seek to use whichever device is at hand—or the most convenient to use at a particular time and for a specific task. However, respondents use their PCs (desk-based or mobile) 20 percent less at weekends.”

Media tablets play a more dominant role in the home than mobile phones or PCs, with the highest usage taking place in the living room (87 percent), the bedroom (65 percent) and the kitchen (47 percent). “Weekday evenings are the most popular time to use media tablets, and this usage flattens out during the weekend as people tend to be away from home,” said Milanesi.
 

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