Tablet Devices Eat Into Desktop, Laptop Use

Owners of tablet devices spend less time using desktops, laptops, netbooks, and e-readers, according to research by The Nielsen Company. As users’ consumption habits begin to favor these emerging devices, marketers will likely continue to increase their investment in the channel in attempts to capitalize on the growing audience they present.

According to Nielsen, 35 percent of the tablet owners it surveyed reported using their desktop less often or not at all since acquiring a tablet. Meanwhile, 32 percent of users who owned laptops in addition to a tablet said they used their laptop less frequently. Some respondents reported using their desktops and laptops more since obtaining a tablet, but relatively few.

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When asked why they choose to use their tablet device over their PC or laptop, 31 percent of respondents cited the portability advantages. Twenty-one percent said they believe tablet interfaces are easier to use, while 15 percent described start-up speed as a benefit. Overall, 77 percent of tablet users said they use their tablet devices for actions they would previously have used a laptop or a desktop for.

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The iPad continues to dominate the tablet space, but rival devices are hitting the market at pace. New entrants such as the Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Xoom, and the BlackBerry PlayBook are helping to further drive the proliferation and adoption of tablet hardware.

The Neilsen data is based on survey responses from 12,000 tablet device owners in the U.S., collected during the first three months of 2011.

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