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Tablets are more popular than smartphones

business Updated: Nov 01, 2012 16:30 IST


A smartphone is the device of choice for younger people while tablets are favored by older, more affluent generations, according to a study published this week.

The average tablet owner is male, aged 34, spends more time playing games than using any other type of app and is most likely to use it between 7 pm and 10 pm. According to the latest research by Flurry, 67 percent of time spent on a tablet is dedicated to gaming and 10 percent of time is spent on social networks, whereas the average smartphone user spends 24 percent of their time using their device for social networks and 39 percent for gaming.

Published this week, the study, which monitored 6 billion application sessions across approximately 500 million mobile devices over a seven-day period in September and included input from a panel of over 30 million US consumers, found that smartphones are the device of choice for younger people while tablets are favored by the older, more affluent generations. The average smartphone owner is 30 years old, and smartphone use is more popular among 18-24-year-olds (21% vs 14% for tablets) and with 25-34-year-olds (33% vs 26%). However 24 percent of 35-54 year olds have tablets (21% have smartphones) and for those over 55, it's 17 percent compared with 7 percent who have smartphones.

Smartphones are also more popular with men than with women -- 56 percent of owners are male, while the gender split for tablets is almost equal with 51 percent of owners being male and 49 percent female.

Smartphone app use is evenly distributed throughout the day whereas tablet use spikes during prime-time TV viewing hours (7-10pm), adding credence to other studies that suggest tablets are being used to surf the net while watching TV or as a second-screen TV experience.

People use apps on smartphones more frequently but for shorter periods (12.9 hours a week with an average of 4.1 minutes per session) compared with 9.5 hours a week for tablets and 8.2 minutes per session, supporting the belief that tablets are still primarily used for media consumption and are beginning to become a fixture of our lounges, whereas smartphones have become part of our lives for a wide variety of uses and in a variety of settings.

Although the most popular apps on both devices are games, smartphone users also access utilities, lifestyle and health and fitness apps on a regular basis while, away from gaming, tablet users are focused on entertainment news and utilities -- only 1 percent of time is spent using productivity apps.