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Buyers Of Tablets Choose Price, Design, Over Brand

9/24/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

EGHAM, ENGLAND — Brand name is no longer king when it comes to how a consumer chooses which tablet to buy, according to Gartner.

The research firm’s latest end-user survey of tablet owners found that these folks now place design and price over manufacturer when picking out a product. The survey comprised 728 tablet owners in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

These results greatly differ from Gartner’s last end-user survey in 2011, when brand was the leading factor behind purchase. Brand is now ranked third in importance.

Gartner analysts said this is primarily due to the maturation of the tablet market. Many of today’s first-time tablet buyers are interested in a durable, well-priced device, and this will lead to basic tablets taking about 47 percent of the market by the end of this year, Gartner said.

However, despite this lower level of importance, the survey noted the top-selling brands are still preferred in some ways.

Apple and Samsung owners spend about 30 minutes more per day each viewing entertainment on their devices compared with owners of other brands. iPad owners are even more devoted, with 80 percent saying they use their iPad more than 10 times per day.

Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, noted that the other tablet vendors need to take heed to this trend.

“Unless consumers use tablets regularly and find them valuable for specific activities, they are unlikely to purchase the same brand or, indeed, any replacement tablet after a couple of years,” she said.

Overall consumers now spend about four hours per day ensconced in front of a connected device, according to a new survey by Gartner. Fifty percent of this screen time is devoted to entertainment, such as playing games, reading, watching live TV or listening to music.

The other half of the time is divided between communicating via social media and email, 26 percent; editing, writing or searching for information, 15 percent; and checking the news, weather and researching products, 9 percent.