Unexpected things happen …

Another great example from Brazil. Evidence that the country seems to be leading the way in digital creative advertising. This time it’s for the less than exciting world of car insurance. A clever use of the tablet’s swipe navigation makes for a creating, engaging ad around the theme of ‘the unexpected’.

Tablets: key usage statistics

How are we using our iPads and tablet devices?

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook announced at Goldman Sachs that tablets will overtake PC sales by the end of 2012. So what is the current state of the tablet market? Whilst there is no single, complete source of data, it is possible to create an overall picture by cobbling the different bits of information together.

We know from Tim Cook’s statement that 55 million iPads have been sold in the 18 months since Apple’s tablet first appeared. That makes it more successful in terms of sales rate than the iPhone (3 years to 55 million) and much more successful that the iPod. The iPad dominates the market in wherever it is sold and although there has been some growth in Android-type devices, Apple are still way ahead of the game. The following chart uses Comscore data to show the penetration of tablet devices. These stats do not include readers, such as the Kindle:

Tablet Users do More

In the US, Comscore tell us that nearly 98% of tablet data usage is from the iPad. As with the iPhone, it would seem that users do more of everything than other devices. They are also beginning to overtake desktop usage. Comscore’s November 2011 figures show that tablets represent 30% of non-desktop traffic. That is considerably higher than the percentage of ownership of ownership.

When it comes to purchasing, tablets also perform well. A study by Adobe Research over the 2011 US holiday period found that tablet users spend 54% longer on sites than mobile users, and purchase over 20% more than desktop visitors. The following chart shows a comparison using average retail order value:

The high sale value is partly down to the ease of use of the devices. In an IAB study in December 2011, nearly half of respondents said they used their tablet because it was ‘the easiest to pick up’ and 37% said that it offered the easiest user interface. But it is also about the user demographic. Tablets tend to be bought by more affluent demographics in the 24-35 age bracket. Given that the tablet is not a PC replacement, but an additional (yet another) device, that is hardly surprising. Comscore tell us that in Europe 34% of iPad users also own an iPhone.

Last Thing at Night (and First Thing In the Morning)

Data from Nielsen in 2011 found that 70% of tablet owners use it in front of the TV. Clearly, the iPad is the device for two screening. Interestingly though, the iPad is used in bed by nearly 60% of owners and appears to be replacing the book at bedtime. That figure is similar to smartphone use, but with tablets the spike at the end of the day is even more pronounced. Both the IAB study and data from Comscore in the US show that later in the evening, tablets are used more than mobile or television.

It’s All About Relationships

The lesson for brands is that tablets are different. They are neither mobile nor PC devices. When it comes to engaging users, tablets need their own strategy. It’s more about entertainment, rich media and longer-form reading… last thing at night.

Latest stats show users iOS users do more of everything

New statistics show that in spite of Android’s domination of mobile handsets, iOS and the iPad dominate data usage

The latest figures from Comscore show that Android now dominates the smartphone market in the US, and an increase on the previous year. This has largely been at the expense of Symbian (Nokia) and RIM (BlackBerry):

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
May-11 Aug-11 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 38.1% 43.7% 5.6
Apple 26.6% 27.3% 0.7
RIM 24.7% 19.7% -5.0
Microsoft 5.8% 5.7% -0.1
Symbian 2.1% 1.8% -0.3

In terms of handset ownership, Samsung are the largest, followed by LG and Motorola.  Apple, though popular, represent less than 10% of the handset market:

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
May-11 Aug-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 24.8% 25.3% 0.5
LG 21.1% 21.0% -0.1
Motorola 15.1% 14.0% -1.1
Apple 8.7% 9.8% 1.1
RIM 8.1% 7.1% -1.0

However, when it comes to OS usage, Apple dominates with their iOS. There has been previous evidence that iPhone users do more of everything than other OSs – more app downloading, more web browsing, more social media. Add other iOS devices in the form of the iPad (and a few iPod Touches)  and Apple’s operating system dominate the market. However, it is the iPad that takes the most traffic of all. Whilst the iPhone accounts for 42% of data, Apple’s tablet has nearly 47% of all data traffic and 97% of all tablet-based online usage.

OS Market Share by Digital Traffic (Browser-Based Page Views)
August 2011
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Source: comScore Device Essentials
Device Platforms Share (%) of Non-Computer Traffic
Apple iOS 58.5%
Google Android 31.9%
RIM 5.0%
Other Platforms 4.6%

iTab: it’s an iPhone, only bigger. Much, much bigger.

Presenting iPhone apps to a large audience always presents a problem. Whilst Steve Jobs has a natty cable that projects his iPhone onto a big screen, they don’t make one available to us ordinary folk. The solution? I borrowed an idea from a friend, and made a bracket to mount the iPhone in front of a video camera (held together with gaffer tape). It kind of works, but it’s very shakey and very clunky. And if the projector is ceiling mounted, it’s too high to plug the cable in at all.

I think I’ve found a proper solution though. I was at an exhibiting show a couple of weeks ago and saw the iTab, which looks and works like a giant iPhone. With screen sizes up to 86″ it looks good in front of an audience. Not only that, but having a true touch-screen means the system is also good for exhibition booths. Everyone wants to walk up to it and play with the thing. The Times has just bought one to show off their new app.

Although it’s a fairly large investment to buy it (£5k + depending on the size), the distributor, Touch2View will rent it by the day (and they’ll come and install it to boot). For more information and prices see their site: www.touch2view.com

Keep Taking the Tablets: iPad and iPad magazine sales statistics

Update: Click here for the latest 2012 Tablet Stats here

2011 has been described as ‘the year of the tablet’ with numerous manufacturers entering the market. The latest entries come from Sony; one device has a 9.5inch screen and the other is a clam-shell design with two 5 inch screens. However, when it comes to tablet sales, Apple’s iPad still rules . When it comes to publishing, we were told that the iPad would change publishing for ever. So is that change happening?

Here is a run-down of the current state of the tablet market:

iPad Market Size

According to Apple, in March 2011 they had sold 15 million iPads in 9 months. Not bad at all. But compare that to the iPhone, which has sold around 100 million units in three years.

Predicted Tablet Sales

Total sales for 2011 – 28 million (UBS Research)

Total size of tablet market 2014 – 208 million (Gartner)

Tablet sales to represent 23% of all PC sales by 2014 (Forrester)

Portability: do you take your iPad when you go out?

Is the iPad just a big iPhone? It uses the same OS. You can make calls on it through Skype. So is it a big phone? Unfortunately not. What is it that defines a mobile phone these days? Given that most devices from PCs to tablets can all do very similar things, surely the difference is not in the functions but how it is used. These days we can define the mobile phone as the always there, always on device. It is also highly personal and not shared. Can we say the same for the iPad? Based on these stats from Comscore, it would appear not:

iPad Magazines

It is clear that many iPad users like reading magazines on their devices. The YouGov survey found that 51% of people prefer to read then on their iPad. However, this does not necessarily mean that magazines have found a new digital format. It is likely that many people buying iPads did so in order to read publications. And of course, whilst most of the population read print magazines, only a small number of people own an iPad. In the meantime publishers have been investing heavily in tablet versions of their magazines.

In September 2010, UK MD of Conde Naste said:

“I would expect 70% of our sales to come from print and 30%, or even 40%, to come from products such as the iPad”.

But how does this stack up against the reality? Take Wired. If there was any magazine made for the iPad, this has to be it. The first issue sales in June 2010 were very good, but by December 2010 it was less that a quarter of the launch issue:

Wired Magazine in Ipad
– Launch (June 2010) 100,000
– July Issue 34,000
– Dec Issue 22,000

Other magazines have fared less well:

Average iPad Monthly Paid Magazine Sales
Vanity Fair – 8700
GQ – 11,000
People Magazine – 10,000 (weekly)
Glamour – 2,270
Men’s Health – 2,000

These figures represent between 1% and 7% of their print circulation, some way off the 30-40% that Conde Naste were hoping for.

Click here for a complete list of UK iPad publications as of Feb 2011

So, it would appear that rather than seeing tablet-based sales increasing steadily, the reverse is happening. They are falling and appear to be something of a niche product. There has been no study published into why people are not reading iPad magazines, but you only have to read some of the discussions on sites like Quora,  to find that the general view is that the subscription model is not attractive enough. In spite of some preference amongst iPad owners to read on their device, on the whole people do not value digital magazines in the same way they value print ones. This is a similar problem that Rupert Murdoch is finding; it’s not easy to monitise digital content through pay walls and subscriptions.

There are other problems as well. From the publisher perspective the 30% paid to Apple is a barrier to selling subscriptions via iTunes:


However, it’s not just about cost. Many iPad magazines are available either for a one-off download cost or at less then the print subscription. Whilst some iPad users enjoy reading magazines on their device, the problem is that many still don’t. Comscore tell us that for iPad owners the preference is as follows:

Besides the subscription model, part of this seems to be that many magazines simply fail to engage the user well on tablet devices. Whilst it costs almost nothing to create a pdf and punt it out via the app store, this is not the kind of experience that users want. Below are some examples of a more engaging approach to the tablet-based magazine:

 Cool iPad Magazine Apps

SPIN Magazine
Letter to Jane
Post Matter
Financial Times
The Economist
ANWB Stedenspecial

What is the Future for the iPad and Tablet Devices?

Apple has a history of creating and defining markets, so it would seem that their aim to change publishing for ever is quite achievable. What’s more, the investment by almost every PC and phone manufacturer to create their own tablet suggests that there is a large market. However, I think that could be optimistic. Whilst everyone wants or has a phone, not everyone wants a tablet. Far from it. Those that do own those devices are not necessarily interested in reading magazines and books on it. And of those that want a magazine, even fewer are prepared to pay for a subscription. In the end the market is really not very big.

However, the underlying problem for tablets is simply this: it’s a temporary technology. A stop-gap. True, ultimately all technology is temporary, but it would be safe to say we will always have some kind of device akin to our mobile phone. The same cannot be said about the tablet. It largely exists to fill the gap whilst phone technology catches up. There are many past examples of temporary technology. Take the PDA for example. Who carries a separate electronic diary, address book, note-pad with them any more? That function has been subsumed into the smartphone. With better input such as gesture and voice control, navigating the small mobile screen will become much easier. Surely the phone screen is too small to replace a tablet device, I hear you ask? True, but in the future mobile screens will be expandable. You just pull it out to make it bigger. Sounds impossible? Well Sony have already developed a screen that can be rolled around a pencil and pulled out when you need it bigger. The military also have similar devices. Perhaps the best vision of the future of mobiles comes from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7_mOdi3O5E.

Random iPad Fact

A YouGov study in the UK found that 21% of men and 12% of women read their iPad on the toilet.
Those with iPads use their computers 39% of the time less than before.

More here: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/1061940/One-five-men-read-iPad-toilet/