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Over 10% of US Consumers Now Own a Tablet Device

13 декабря 2011

New research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's recently-launched tablet tracking service shows that 10.6% of US consumers (aged 16+) now own a tablet -- a number which is likely to grow.

The iPad is the dominant force in the market, accounting for nearly two thirds of all tablets owned. However, its share of sales has fallen to 50% over the past six months, showing that competitor products are starting to make inroads into the tablet market.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, explains: "Although the iPad dominates sales at the moment, there is still potential for other manufacturers. Our data shows that 30% of consumers who intend to purchase a tablet in the next year are still undecided about which brand to buy, with 12% saying they would buy the Amazon Kindle Fire.

"Apple's achievements in this market are clearly linked to its success in the smartphone market, with one in four iPhone users owning a tablet. Furthermore, 72% of people who already own an iPhone and plan to purchase a tablet intend to buy an iPad. This is clearly something other manufacturers will have to contend with if they want to challenge Apple. That said, the Kindle Fire is proving an attractive option to iPhone owners too, with 10% saying they are likely to buy one over the next 12 months."

Consumer awareness of tablets is also an important factor in increasing sales. With an advertising blitz in the run up to Christmas, awareness of tablets is high, with only 6% of people claiming they have never heard of a tablet.

Dominic continues: "Over a third of those who said they have a strong knowledge of the product plan to go and buy one in the next year, compared with only 3% who have a low knowledge. Manufacturers will need to clearly market the benefits of the products, particularly to the older demographic (over-45), which has less understanding of the differences between tablets and PCs.

"One consideration for the future will also be the relationship between smartphones, tablets and PCs and the necessity of having all three. With tablets and smartphones providing similar benefits to customers and increasingly becoming the same size it may be a case of one or the other. In fact, 8% of consumers already remain undecided whether to buy a smartphone or a tablet."

A $99 sale helped the now discontinued HP TouchPad to claim a 9% share of the tablet market. More basic devices such as the Nook Colour and Nook Tablet also sold well, proving there is a real appetite for entry-level devices.

The research also shows that 3G/4G tablet connections are yet to catch on with consumers. Only 36% of tablets bought have 3G capability. But what is far more worrying, particularly for the carriers, is that over a third of sold 3G capable tablets have never been connected to a 3G/4G network.

Dominic Sunnebo comments: "The vast majority of tablet sales are currently being bought at traditional electrical specialists, rather than at carrier stores such as AT&T or Verizon. Consumers still view tablets as a PC or laptop rather than as a mobile communication device. However, the opportunity for the carriers remains huge as smartphone usage shows the desire for on-the-go connectivity is relentless. If the carriers can come up with a convincing package for consumers, then the millions of unconnected 3G capable tablets in the US would provide a serious revenue opportunity."

Источник: Cellular news

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