Home Tablet Users Are Geezer Couch Potatoes, Says New Report

Tablet Users Are Geezer Couch Potatoes, Says New Report

New research shows that tablet owners are more likely to be older – and far more interested in consuming content than producing it. Those demographics blow holes in popular tablet-as-PC-replacement theories.

Smartphone Users Like Tablets

The insights come from a report last week from market analyst comScore, which also shows that nearly one in four smartphone users also used tablets during the three-month period ending April 2012. A hefty 23.6% of smartphone users reported using tablets, while just 10.4% of feature phone owners had used tablets.

The report didn’t offer direct evidence of why smartphone usage was predictive of tablet usage, though some educated guesses could be made.

First, you’d expect smartphone adoptees to be more interested in tablets. Second, the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard demonstrated to consumers that a decent computing device didn’t have to have a mouse and a physical keyboard. Finally, smartphone users might be more interested in tablets because of the idea that apps bought within a particular ecosystem (especially iOS, but also Android) can be used across devices.

Geezers Like Tablets

The report did show the demographics of smartphone and tablet owners skewed heavily toward an older population segment.

“For both devices, the heaviest overall audience concentration was between the ages of 25 to 44. Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28% more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27% less likely to be age 18-24,” according to comScore’s statement.

That 65+ figure is telling, offering one reason why tablets don’t seem to be showing up in the enterprise and business IT spaces as much as some had predicted. If this research is accurate, unlike other technology early adopters, many tablet adopters appear to be well outside the workforce – and won’t be joining that workforce, either.

It’s not surprising that tablet users are three times as likely to watch video on their devices as smartphone users – watching video on a tablet is a much better experience. But it also emphasizes that tablets are still widely deployed as content consumption devices, not content production.

Content creation seems to remain the province of desktop and laptop computers. Predictions of the death of the PC – at least in work settings – seem to be a bit premature.

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