ARLINGTON, VA. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that 44 percent of online U.S. consumers owned tablets as of December 2013, an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous year.
According to research released late last month by CEA, the “Consumer Outlook on Tablets: Adoption, Sentiment and Social Media Conversation (January 2014)” semiannual report examines trend information on consumer behavior and sentiment regarding tablet computers.
Looking ahead, nearly three in four (70 percent) online consumers expect to purchase tablets sometime in the future, holding steady with purchase intent figures reported by CEA last quarter.
Among tablet owners, screen size plays an important role in portability and viewing content, and ownership seems to be shifting somewhat to smaller screens. Among current owners, small screens of 7 to 8 inches have increased from 25 percent ownership in June 2013 to 32 percent in December 2013.
Conversely, ownership of medium screens 8.9 to 10.1inches have decreased from 73 percent in June 2013 to 68 percent in December 2013.
Regarding tablet owners’ usage behavior, these consumers use a wide variety of apps with their devices, and games remain the most popular type of app.
The study found two-thirds (66 percent) of tablet owners use gaming apps, followed by weather apps (58 percent) and social-networking apps (51 percent). Among the third of tablet owners (35 percent) who have purchased apps within the past month, more than half (58 percent) spent more than $5.
The average monthly expenditure among tablet owners purchasing at least one app is $8.89, resulting in a projected total of $256 million spent on apps per month by tablet owners.
“Tablets had a strong 2014 holiday season, particularly on Black Friday, but are showing the beginning signs of market saturation,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA. “Striking the right chord with consumers’ tablet expectations following the holiday season will be imperative to improving sales, despite slowing penetration during the past year. Consumers are looking for competitive pricing and simplicity, now that several manufacturers are in the mix.”
Although revenue growth has slowed, unit sales for tablets will continue to see steady increases this year, according to CEA’s “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (January 2014)”, once again contributing significantly to the total CE industry’s bottom line. Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 89.3 million in 2014, up from 77.4 million in 2013, while revenues for tablets will reach $27.3 billion this year, up by 3 percent over last year.