US Tablet Audience Getting Older, Quickly

August 7, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Brand Metrics | Connected Device Comparisons | Household Income | Men | Mobile Phone | Women | Youth & Gen X

comscore-us-tablet-audience-demo-profile-aug2012.png57.3% of US tablet owners were aged over 35 in the 3-month period ending in June 2012, including almost 1 in 5 aged older than 55, according to comScore TabLens data. Despite a plurality (24.2%) of tablet owners being aged 25-34, this is down from 25.3% just 2 months earlier. In fact, in that time period, the proportion of US tablet owners aged over 45 rose from 30.2% to 36.7%.

Meanwhile, according to the latest report, after the 25-34 bracket, Americans aged 35-44 make up the next-largest share of the tablet audience (20.6%), followed by those in the 45-54 bracket (18.1%). Share of ownership is lowest among Americans aged 65 and older (7.6%) and teenagers aged 13-17 (5.5%).

The Online Publishers Association (OPA) also observed in June that tablet users and owners are becoming older. OPA found that 4 in 10 tablet users are between the ages of 35 and 64, and that 46% of new buyers are in that age range, including 31% who are between the ages of 45 and 64 (see link above). According to the study results, the share of owners aged between 8 and 24 has fallen 8% over the past year, while the proportion aged 35 to 54 has grown 8%.

Additionally, the OPA study found the tablet base gender gap to be disappearing, which is consistent with comScore’s data, which shows an even split in the tablet audience between men and women.

iOS, Android Capture Different Consumers

The comScore data indicates that while the 25-34 age bracket makes up 24.2% of the total tablet audience, they account for a larger 25.8% of the iPad owner base. iPad owners skew more male (52.9%) than the average, and wealthier (with 46.3% residing in households with income over $100k, compared to 38.4% for the total tablet base).

By contrast, Kindle Fire owners skew female (56.6%), and both Android and Kindle Fire users have an overall lower household income than do iPad owners, with the Android and Kindle Fire figures more closely resembling the household income reported by smartphone owners. While the Kindle Fire runs the Android operating system, comScore analyzed the Fire as a segment of its own for purpose of this study.

Apps, Price Lead Purchase Considerations

Selection of available applications and the price of the tablet lead as the most important factors in tablet selection, each scoring 7.7 on a 10-point scale. Brand name and operating system each have an average rating of 7.5, while music/video capabilities ranked as the fifth leading factor, with an average rating of 7.4. Trailing in importance were recommendations by friends or family (6.5), matching the OS to the owner’s phone (6.4), social networking features (6.2), and recommendations by retail salespeople (5.3).

iPad owners appear to be loyalists, skewing higher-than-average for brand name (8) and operating system (7.8), and low in purchase price (7.2). Kindle Fire owners skew high in motivation by price, at 8.1, suggesting they are looking for the lowest-cost entry into tablet ownership. Brand name of tablet (7.4) and operating system (7.2) were both scored as less important among Kindle Fire owners than among iPad owners.

Tablet Owners Are Highly Satisfied

Post-purchase, tablet owners appear to be highly satisfied with their devices, with an average rating of 8.6 on a 10-point scale. By contrast, smartphone owners give their devices an average rating of 8.1. iPad owners are the most satisfied (8.8), followed closely by Kindle Fire owners (8.7). Android tablet users (excluding Kindle Fire) had a slightly lower satisfaction rating of 8.2.

About The Data: comScore TabLens is a monthly tally of US tablet ownership and usage, based on a 3-month rolling sample of 6,000 US tablet owners.

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