A new ongoing market study by comScore of US tablet ownership shows that the Kindle Fire has got a surprisingly strong hold over several sectors of the market, particularly middle income families and female users. Guy Daniels reports.
Internet and digital monitoring specialist comScore turned its attention to the tablet market with a new monthly report on US tablet ownership and usage patterns. Similar to its MobiLens service, the new TabLens is based on a three month rolling sample of 6,000 US tablet owners.
Its first report shows that iOS and Android tablets are capturing different consumer segments, with distinct differences across iPad, Android and Kindle Fire audiences. Note that the Kindle Fire, despite running on a customised version of Android, is given its own category in the TabLens analysis.
iPad owners are more likely to be male (52.9 per cent), whilst more female users are drawn to the Kindle Fire (56.6 per cent). The largest proportion of the youngest age group surveyed, 13 to 17 year-olds, used Android tablets (6.2 per cent), with iPad in third and last place with 4.7 per cent. The iPad also came in last for users aged over 45 – of the three age ranges (45-54, 55-64 and over 65) the iPad came last in all, averaging a share of just 11.3 per cent. Android and Kindles slugged it out for dominance in these age groups, averaging 12.8 and 12.3 per cent respectively.
Where the iPad did win out over its rivals was in the 18-44 age groups, averaging 20.4 per cent against Android’s 18.5 per cent and Kindle Fire’s 19.1 per cent.
It gets even more interesting when you map tablet ownership against US household income. Android wins the battle for the below $25k band with a 11.7 per cent share, more than double that of iPads. But that’s the only income band it does win. The next three bands ($25k-$50k, $50k-$75k and $75k-$100k) are all won by the Kindle Fire (at an average share of 19.9 per cent.
Then for the top band, over $100k, the iPad dominates with a commanding 46.3 per cent share, with Kindle Fire at 33.3 and Android at 32.5 per cent.
Is it any wonder then, that Apple are rumoured to be launching a 7” tablet, which will no doubt be less expensive than its current version? Also worth noting, these figures don’t reflect the launch of the Nexus 7, as the survey was conducted over the three months ending June.
Analysis by comScore of the top purchase consideration factors for an average tablet owner found that selection of apps and price of tablet led as the most important factors, both scoring 7.7 on a 10-point scale. Breaking this down, iPad owners found selection of apps most important in their purchase decision, whilst Kindle Fire owners placed the greatest weight on price of tablet.
Brand name of tablet and tablet operating system followed as the next most important factors each with a 7.5-rating, while music and video capabilities ranked fifth in purchase consideration factors with a rating of 7.4. The role of the salesperson in recommending one tablet over another came last, with a rating of 5.3.
ComScore was surprised (as are we) to find that consumers did not place strong importance on having the same operating system across their tablet and smartphone, with this factor falling outside of the top five consideration factors for iPad, Kindle Fire and the average tablet owner:
“This finding highlights the potential for brands, such as Microsoft with its recently announced Surface Tablet, to see consumer adoption in the tablet market even though they might lack strong penetration in the smartphone market.”
The TabLens data showed that tablet owners were highly satisfied with their respective devices, with the average overall satisfaction rating reaching 8.6 on a 10-point scale. In comparison, comScore says that smartphone owners rated overall satisfaction with their device an 8.1. iPad owners experienced the highest level of satisfaction (8.8 rating), followed closely by Kindle Fire owners (8.7). Android tablet users had a slightly lower satisfaction rating of 8.2, but it adds that this is still very strong in absolute terms.
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