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USC Marshall study shows growth of tablets in North American market

A new study by the USC Marshall Institute for Communication Technology Management highlights the increasing penetration of tablets and smartphones in the North American market.

The “Digital Home 3 – The Democratization of Technology” study, which surveyed 4,000 U.S. homes and 1,000 Canadian homes, defines the growing power of digital devices for people across the United States and Canada, according to Lucy Hood, executive director of the institute.

“Technology is democratic – today everyone has increased access to communication, content and productivity through smartphones and tablets,” Hood said.

She pointed to the growth in use of tablets as an important trend among technology adopters.

“The number of tablet users in the U.S. has doubled from 4 percent to 8 percent in the last year. And a significant proportion -19 percent – of consumers plan to buy a tablet in the next 12 months,” Hood said. “The increased consumption of media and communication on tablets is striking. We will be following the business implications of this and other trends over the next year and beyond.”

Among the key findings of the study are:

• Tablet ownership in North American households is projected to increase from 8 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2012. The biggest growth in tablet users will be among 13-44 year olds.

• The profile of current tablet users is revealing: 70 percent are between the ages of 18 and 44. They are slightly more likely to be male than female, and they largely live in high-income households. Members of ethnic groups, including African Americans, Latinos and Asians, are nearly twice as likely to buy a tablet in the next year as Caucasians.

• Tablet users consume twice as much media as the mainstream, and they increasingly want to control what they watch by using the device in the future as an alternative to traditional television.

• Smartphone ownership will increase from 29 percent in 2011 to 40 percent in 2012.

• The highest penetration of smartphones will be in the Latino and Asian markets.

USC Marshall study shows growth of tablets in North American market

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