Tablets and iPhones are fundamentally changing the way people get their entertainment, and they may eventually make those DVD players, GPS and other single-use electronic devices obsolete.
According to a new survey of more than 1,400 consumers by research agency Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), people are using their smartphones and tablets for a variety of entertainment outlets, from games to watching movies and television. According to the research, more than half of smartphone and tablet users play games on their device. As a result, nearly two-thirds of tablet owners are using other devices (particularly portable gaming devices) less for this purpose.
Similarly, two-thirds of tablet owners are using their devices to watch feature-length movies. With further tablet adoption, the stand-alone DVD player may become obsolete, says Chris Neal, vice president of CMB's tech and telecom practice. With just over a quarter (26%) of U.S. adults saying they expect to purchase a tablet in the coming year, that development could come relatively quickly, he says.
"As people get more tablets, these devices are an endangered species," Neal tells Marketing Daily. "Those specialty devices do one application really, really well. Now you've got a device that does multiple things."
Even worse are the prospects for stand-alone GPS systems. According to the research, 80% of tablet and smartphone owners have used their devices for mapping and directions. Of these users, nearly 90% of them said they are using other methods such as a standard GPS less. "Some, like TomTom, have already placed their bets and said they're not a device manufacturer anymore -- they're making software only," Neal says. "It will be one of many [GPS-type] apps on an iPhone or iPad."
For every downside, however, there is an upside. On the whole, the increasing prevalence of tablets is leading to more content consumption overall, the agency reports. "The majority of tablet owners are watching full-length movies, TV shows, in addition to standard Web videos," Neal says. "It's carving into standard TV time a bit, but it's increasing the amount of time people are watching in general, which is good for media companies."