Gartner conducted its study of tablet owners across the U.S., U.K. and Australia at the end of 2011, and found that these users primarily used their tablets for checking email (cited by 81% of respondents), reading the news (69%), checking the weather (63%), social networking (62%) and gaming (60%) on a daily basis.
The topic of consuming news on a tablet certainly featured prominently throughout the study, with Gartner revealing just how tablet readers are turning to digital by estimating that 50% of tablet owners prefer to read news, books and magazines on a screen, rather than on paper. The firm also added that a considerable one in three respondents used their tablets to read a book, compared with 13% for mobile PCs, and 7% for mobile phones.
However, while the research firm happily admitted that tablets are now 'substantively changing' how consumers access, create and share content, it dismissed any suggestions that the rise of digital publishing could be at the risk of the printed copy.
“We do not believe that the ‘paperless home’ will prevail, but it is clear that the ‘less-paper model’ is the new reality,” said Gartner’s principal research analyst, Meike Escherich.
“Other than their tablets, most respondents also owned PCs, TVs and mobile phones and said they use their multiple devices interchangeably, rather than substituting one device for another. They seek to use whichever device is at hand — or the most convenient to use at a particular time and for a specific task.”
As you would expect, the Gartner study uncovered that tablets are most used in the home, with the living room (87%) leading the way, followed by the bedroom (65%) and the kitchen (47%).
Gartner said that usage is typically higher on weekday evenings than on the weekend, and added that more than half of tablet owners share their tablets with others, with just 45% choosing not to do so.