We begin by examining three aspects of the overall tablet audience: the number of consumers using tablets, the type of tablets they are using and the demographics of tablet users.
Tablet adoption has significantly increased in the past year; 2012 saw 31% of the U.S. internet population owning tablets (74.1M users), up from 12% (28.3M users) in 2011. Furthermore, by the year 2013 this figure is expected to increase with a projected 47% of the U.S. internet population (117.4M users) owning tablets.
Of these tablet users, the Android platform has drawn level with iOS, largely in part because of the strong sales of the Kindle. 52% of tablet owners have an iOS operating system, while 47% use an Android powered tablet and 14% use another type of tablet (percentages do not add up to 100% because tablet owners own/use more than one type of tablet). This is a drastic change from 2011, which saw 72% of tablet owners use some form of the iPad while only while only 23% used an Android tablet.
The demographic breakdown of those buying tablets is also experiencing a shift. Tablet adoption is trending older and more balanced between males (56%) and females (44%). Additionally, the majority of tablet users (59%) are coming from affluent households earning an income of $50K or more.
As tablet penetration increases there is a positive association with the potential for digital growth for publishers and other related implications (monetization, advertising opportunities). However this equally hinges on how users are consuming content on their tablets: the subject of part two’s blog post to be released Wednesday.