Tablet Audience Overlaps With Smartphone Users, Used More As Video Device
June 11, 2012

Tablet Audience Overlaps With Smartphone Users

Enid Burns for

The number of smartphone owners continues to rise in the U.S., and so does the number of tablet owners. Smartphone ownership rose from 9.7 percent of the U.S. population in Q2 2011 to 23.6 percent in April 2012. At the same time tablet ownership increased, with a greater number of smartphone users adopting a larger screen than the rest of the U.S. audience. That's according to data released by comScore as part of its TabLens report.

The total mobile audience includes 16.5 percent of the U.S. population, an 11.8-point change since a year ago in April 2011 of 4.7 percent. Smartphone users don't just have more services at their fingertips on their handsets, but they're more likely to also have a tablet in their mobile arsenal. comScore finds that one in every four smartphone owners also uses a tablet.

Video is one of the more popular activities on a tablet. Tablet users were nearly three times more likely to watch video on their device compared to smartphone users. One in every 10 tablet users view video content almost daily on the device.

"Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and perhaps most notably, in the home," said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile, in a statement on the TabLense report. "It's not surprising to see that once consumers get their hands on their first tablet, they are using them for any number of media habits including TV viewing."

While more men have smartphones (51.6 percent), more women use tablets (50.8 percent). The tablet audience also skews to adults with a higher household income. The heaviest overall audience concentration for tablets falls between 25 and 44. Within the 25 to 34 age group, 24.4 percent have tablets, and 21.4 percent within the 35 to 44 age group have tablets. Smartphone penetration occurs highest in those two age ranges as well. Within the 25 to 34 age group, 25.3 percent have smartphones and 21.2 percent in the 35 to 44 age group have smartphones.

Tablet penetration is also highest in moderate income households. About 18.9 percent of households with an income between $50k and $75k; and 18.3 percent of households with incomes between $75k and $100k have tablets. Households with income over $100k were the most likely owners of tablets, 37.7 percent of that income range has a tablet in the household.

Video consumption is higher on tablets than smartphones. As many as 53 percent of tablet owners, compared to 20 percent of smartphone owners, watch video at some point each month. As many as 24.6 percent of tablet owners and 10.3 percent of smartphone owners watch video up to three times per month. Weekly video watching takes place among 18.9 percent of tablet owners and 6.7 percent of smartphone owners. As many as 9.5 percent of tablet owners and 2.9 percent of smartphone owners watch videos on a daily basis.

This vantage of usage habits among tablet and smartphone users provides a look at how to best reach this captive audience of technology-driven users.