Thought Apple had the tablet market sewn up? Think again. And it's not Android but apathy that's the problem according to new research.
Yep, if you thought Apple had the whole tablet computing market sewn up tighter than a zombies' mouth, you would be wrong according to newly published research which, while confirming the iPad as market leader, points towards a far from certain future when it comes to convincing the average consumer (as opposed to early adopting gadget geeks) that tablet computing is for them.
A new study of UK consumers has shed some interesting light on the attitudes and aspirations of both those folk who have already jumper aboard the good ship tablet, and those who have yet to be convinced of the desirability of tablet devices. The research by media communications agency UM London , entitled 'Tablet in Touch' and involving more than 5,000 participants, perhaps unsurprisingly revealed that early adopters of the tablet computing revolution were pretty evangelical about their devices with more than a third actually going as far as to say their tablets have changed their lives. Some 43 per cent reckon tablets are addictive and 27 per cent even use them in the toilet. Interestingly, 65 per cent stated that tablets are "more useful" than laptops, which kind of suggests a different consumer demographic purchasing both computing devices.
Yet only 18 per cent of UK consumers actually own a tablet computer, or an e-reader. The latter has the edge on tablets in terms of numbers, with an estimated 5.9 million adults in the UK owning an e-reader of some sort while 3.9 million adults (or 8 per cent of the population) own a tablet. Which leaves 82 per cent of the population of the UK without either, and 64 per cent of those have no intention of buying one either; which is bad news for Apple, Android and Amazon.
When it comes to tablets, price is the biggest deterrent with 23 per cent complaining the cost is still too high. More worrying, as prices tend to fall as adoption increases, is the fact that 38 per cent simply 'do not get it' when it comes to the benefits of owning a tablet at all.
As for usage, the push towards tablets as productivity devices seems to be struggling with an amazing 41 per cent of tablet owners claiming their device is just a toy, with only 23 per cent using them for work, and game apps (downloaded by more 50 per cent of all tablet owners) dominate the app arena. Most surprisingly of all, given the mobile nature of a tablet device, 35 per cent said their tablet never left the house...
Loraine Cordery at UM London warns that Apple and other brands "face a major challenge persuading those who don't own one of the benefits of the devices".