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Tablet computing use is flourishing
Nov. 28, 2011
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by Mark Ollig

Apple’s iPad is, of course, on top of the computing tablet world, and the latest numbers show no significant letup in its popularity.

The research firm, eMarketer publishes analysis and data regarding digital marketing, media and commerce.

They just released new survey numbers and predictions about the use of tablet computing devices among Americans.

By the end of this year – which is almost upon us – the research firm predicts at least once every month, there will be 33.7 million Americans, or 10.8 percent of the population, using a computing tablet device.

By comparison, in 2010, there were only 13 million US tablet users, with the majority, 11.5 million, being Apple iPad users.

It seems like we have had tablet computers with us for a long time, but it was only recently, April 2010, when the first Apple iPad tablet was made available to the public.

By the end of this year, an estimated 33.7 million US citizens were using tablet devices on a monthly basis. Of this total, 28 million used iPads.

Tablet users aged 18-34 represent 31.5 percent of this year’s total users, while those aged 35 and over make up 55.5 percent.

With the many accessories one can add to a mobile computing tablet, it seems more folks are simply abandoning their laptops and opting to use tablets instead.

By the end of 2012, it is estimated there will be 54.8 million US tablet users of this number approximately 42 million will be operating iPads.

The 2012 numbers indicate a 62.8 percent increase from this year.

Looking ahead to 2014, it is predicted the 18-34 age group will account for 34.8 percent of all tablet users, while those over age 35 will account for 49.3 percent.

All signs show steady growth in the use of tablet computing devices continuing into the future.

One very interesting number is the research projection showing 89.5 million US tablet users by 2014.

This number alone represents 35 percent of all US Internet users.

Of the 89.5 million, 61 million are anticipated to still be using Apple iPads.

As tablet computing devices continue being introduced into more school teaching curriculums, I look for the total number of tablet users to be much higher than the 2014-projected 89.5 million.

Unless some “killer tablet” appears in the marketplace, Apple’s iPad will continue its dominance as the consumer’s preferred tablet computing device for the foreseeable future.

But hold the phone.

The new Amazon Kindle Fire just might be the tablet to make a legitimate charge at iPad’s dominance.

Another research firm, ChangeWave Research, released survey information showing the Amazon Kindle Fire will be right behind the Apple iPad as the tablet of choice for this year’s North American holiday shoppers.

Currently, 74 percent of iPad owners report they are very satisfied with their mobile device, the researching group said.

It is stated by eMarketer, that many of the tablets used in 2014 will be made up of newer-styled tablet devices which will have replaced the older tablets.

Not that your humble columnist has any inside knowledge, but I’ll take a guess that Apple will probably be releasing their iPad 5 during 2014.

Another prediction says that instead of sharing a tablet computer among many users, each user will be buying their own tablet, much the same way a person now buys their own smartphone.

There were no hard numbers provided for iPad tablet competitors such as the new Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, BlackBerry Playbook, or Samsung Galaxy Tab, which currently trail behind Apple iPad tablets in total units sold.

However, there are numbers which do forecast a slight decrease in iPad tablet users by 2014.

The research by eMarketer shows by 2014, the number of iPad users will be down to 68 percent. While this is still a substantial percentage, it does represent a 15 percent decrease from today’s numbers.

By 2014, one out of three online users will be using some kind of tablet computing device.

Although yours truly has used an iPad tablet, I still prefer my laptop; however, I can understand why tablets will most likely overtake laptops/notebooks for accessing the Internet – from a portability perspective.

I still see tablet computing devices as more of a media content consumption device; however, with more innovative accessories being added to them, they are in fact, becoming viable user content creation devices in their own right.

Tablet computing devices are also being used creatively in displaying content to consumers in various venues, such as art shows.

One tablet owner I observed – at a recent college art show in Minneapolis – skillfully exhibited his paintings on the display screen of his iPad to interested buyers who had gathered around him.

I learned on that day tablets also make excellent mobile content presentation devices.


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