Despite indications sales are leveling, tablet ownership and usage still beats that of other connected devices.
According to The NPD Group, there were 109 million tablets in use as of the third quarter of 2014, up from 74 million tablets in use at the same time last year. “We are starting to see sales level off,” John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at The NPD Group, tells Marketing Daily. “While we are seeing that inflection point, the retail market is still strong.”
The broad adoption is also giving a clearer picture about how consumers use their devices. For instance, 55% of tablet users use them leverage some sort of video feature, including video calling; taking, uploading and posting videos, and watching streamed content. The latter is the most common behavior, with more than two-thirds of younger (18-34 year-old) consumers using tablets for that purpose.
“A couple of years back, we were looking at early adopters of technology,” Buffone says. “But now, with this mass-market adoption, we can look at a broader set of consumers [to determine their activities.”
The widespread use of tablets for video opens up an opportunity for mobile carriers to sell their features (such as video calling and on-the-go video access), as a way to encourage consumers to add tablets to their data plans, or even order up larger data plans, Buffone says.
“The number one thing people are doing with these devices is a data-hungry activity,” Buffone says. “The more people want to [use] those long-tail video behaviors, the more important that cellular connection will be for the device.”