Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tablet adoption reaches nearly 50% of U.S. broadband households, far outpacing e-readers

New Parks Associates research examines the tablet market and connected CE ecosystem

Competition among Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft has lowered price points on tablets and helped expand adoption, with 48% of U.S. broadband households owning at least one, according to Parks Associates. Tablet ownership increased by nearly 33% in one year, with 22% of households reporting a tablet purchase, while only 7% purchased an e-reader in 2012, down from 9% in 2011.

Growth will continue as OEMs release more tablets aimed at the high and low ends of the tablet market. “Amazon has expanded the low end of the tablet market with the Kindle Fire, whereas Microsoft is making a credible push at the higher end,” said Jennifer Kent, senior analyst, Parks Associates. "The software giant’s renewed focus on the success of the Surface Pro, after the disappointing traction of the more-limited Surface RT, will mean better options for consumers shopping for top-of-the-line tablets. Efforts by content providers such as Viacom, which offers apps and services to view its content on tablets, will also help drive wider tablet adoption by offering consumers more content options on mobile screens.”

Parks Associates - Connected and Mobile CE Purchases

Parks Associates' new industry report, Tablets: Disrupting Mobile Computing and the Digital Home, notes the tablet’s success continues to threaten other CE categories such as e-readers and PCs. Tablet purchases surpassed desktop purchases for the first time in 2012 and will match or exceed laptop purchases in 2013.

"The tablet is taking market share from other devices with overlapping functionality, but its continued growth depends on manufacturers’ ability to continue to carve out a niche that differentiates the tablet from other form factors while also complementing them," Kent said.

Kent also notes that the tablet is caught in the middle ground between smartphones and notebooks, which can create challenges for manufacturers as they try to distinguish their models. For example, Barnes & Noble recently reported losses in its Nook e-reader division and will now turn to third parties to manufacture the color version of its tablet. Apple has faced declining profits recently as the company has not released any new products in several months.

“Tablets cannot get much smaller without competing directly with smartphones, and the form factor is already pushing against the boundaries of laptop categories without having the power, processing, or storage of a full-fledged PC," Kent said. "OEMs must continue to push innovative tablet features in order to secure the form factor’s future in a market that overlaps with other CE categories.”

Tablets: Disrupting Mobile Computing and the Digital Home examines the tablet market and ecosystem using the latest market data, consumer analytics, and briefings with key industry players.  The report analyzes the tablet’s impact on adjacent CE markets and explores in-depth the components, capabilities, and services that drive tablet adoption and use.

For information, visit or contact, 972-490-1113.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video.

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