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50% of Tablet Owners watch TV Shows and Videos on Their Device

The iPad is a powerful business tool. We’ve seen it as a means to present reports, illustrate new concepts and ideas, and as a portable machine that can, at least in part, replace a conventional laptop. No wonder Apple wish to showcase the iPad in Business, in conjunction with multinational bank Standard Chartered.

But with the industry having, at least temporarily, focused its eyes on the business community, a new report by In-Stat is shining light back onto the consumer. And the consumer is changing their habits.

According to the report, some 50% of tablet owners – iPad included – watch films and TV shows on their portable device for leisure. In the words of research director Keith Nissen, “tablets, in particular, have become a primary video device, both inside and outside the home.” There are few adjectives that come to mind to describe such a high percentage: unexpected, unanticipated and unprecedented began to scratch the surface.

To appreciate this figure, consider where the tablet industry was this time two years ago: a microcosm of the technology centre, with pocket-sized phones dominating the consumer sphere. All the talk was on iOS and Android, and the hardware that went with it: iPhones and HTCs. Yes, there were tablet-sized computers, like the Sony Vaio, but when it comes down to it, these were computers rather than tablets.

Then came the iPad in April 2010. It used the same iOS software as iPhones and iPod Touches – so consumers knew how to use it before they got their hands on it. It was a new device, but in a sort of technological poetry, it was as if the iPad had always existed.

Today, it is used as both an input (word processing, gaming) and output (photos, videos) device. So are its rivals. Their functions as output devices are increasing, most notably with the iPad’s 720p HD connectivity. “By 2015, our research projects that 65% of the US population will own a smartphone and/or tablet” reads In-Stat’s report. “As these devices become a center-point for video engagement and consumption, content providers, device manufacturers, and operators need to support a multiscreen usage model that reflects social interaction, screen interaction, personalization and mobility.”

I wonder what iPad 3 has in store.

[Source: Mobile Entertainment]

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Kyle Flanigan
Forex trader, student of Finance at Queen's University and application reviewer. Enjoys karting and starbucks'ing.
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