We are in the year of the tablet computer and almost every month you hear of a new tablet being launched. Tablets are big business and everybody seems to know it.
With cost of producing hardware going down, more and more players are offering tablets that truly engage a user. But who are these tablet users? and how do they use their tablets? What are the prices they are ready to pay for apps for their devices? These key questions may hold the answer to really making it big in the game of tablet apps.
A recent report by OPA with Magid Media Futures gives us insights into tablet usage statistics.

Who are today’s tablet users:

An estimated 12% of the U.S. Internet population, ages 8-64, owns or uses a tablet (estimated 28 million consumers).

Most tablet users currently are male and aged between 18-34.

About 18% of all people surveyed plan to buy a tablet in the next 12 months.

What are the things users like to do with their tablets:

We published a report recently that pointed out that users are now spending more time on apps than on their desktops. Here are some stats that show what tasks users prefer to do on their tablets.

From the above stats we can see that users think of tablets as multi purpose entertainment devices.

Tablet users view tablets as their preferred reading device over computers and printed media for many types of content and information.

Over 40% of tablet use occurs outside homes.

Long-form video is preferred over short clips on tablets.

Nearly all tablet users (93%) have downloaded apps. The average tablet user has downloaded 20 apps, many of which are for weather, entertainment and news.

Monetization of tablet apps:

Nearly half of consumers find tablet advertising relevant, unique and interesting. These adds cover a variety of products, the mist popular being clothing.

Paid apps account for 26% of all tablet apps downloaded. 79% of app downloaders have paid for apps. The average app downloader spent $53 on apps in the last year.

Games are the most popular category, a stat that is common to both smartphones and tablets.

Consumers want bundled content and payment options for paid content on their tablets, and they prefer a variety of retail channels to buy tablet apps.

As tablet sales grow the opportunities they will bring to app developers will be huge, but there will also be significant challenges as well. The choice of platform will be critical for app developers, looking at the current market share of various platforms for tablets, the clear winner is the Apple iOS platform. It provides an efficient app distribution system and already has a significant lead in the tablet market compared to any other platform in terms of users.

What happened in the smartphone market may happen in the tablet market too and in the next one year we may see Android tablets overtake Apple’s iPads, this will significantly change the market scenario for tablet apps. Looking at the Android tablet onslaught we are about to face, is it a good idea for developers to start developing Android tablet apps, or is the more lucrative iOS going to be be the king of tablets and drive developers to it?

What’s your take?


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