Tablet Adoption Less Age-Dependent Than Smartphone Ownership in Developed Markets

January 3, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Digital | Global & Regional | Mobile Phone | Youth & Gen X

Deloitte-Smartphone-Tablet-Penetration-Developed-Mkts-by-Age-Jan2013Smartphone penetration is high among younger consumers and drops significantly among their older counterparts, but that pattern is less pronounced when it comes to tablet adoption, at least in a selection of developed markets. That’s according to survey results [download page] from Deloitte released in December 2012. The study, which looked at smart device ownership across 8 developed markets, found 18-24-year-olds to be almost three times as likely as the 55+ group to own a smartphone (58% vs. 21%), but less than twice as likely to own a tablet (19% vs. 11%).

The Deloitte survey results mirror a trend seen in the US: an Online Publishers Association (OPA) study released in June found that the tablet user base in the US is getting older.

Tablet Penetration Exceeds 1 in 5 in the US

The Deloitte report, “The state of the global mobile consumer,” suggests that the success of tablets in developed markets is in part a result of their adoption by age groups not traditionally seen as early adopters – such as older consumers.

Indeed, the study finds that ownership or access to tablets has reached 21% in the US and Canada, the highest level among the 8 markets tracked. That may actually significantly under-represent current ownership levels, as the survey was conducted from May-June 2012. In fact, according to a survey conducted in August and September by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 1 in 4 adults in the US own a tablet. And with the recent jump in tablet activations over the holidays, that number will likely rise.

About the Data: The Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey was conducted in May and June, 2012. Respondent countries and sample sizes (developed markets only) were as follows: Belgium (999); Canada (2,380); Finland (1,187); France (2,011); Germany (2,083); Japan (2,011); UK (2060); and the US (2,022). The samples in each country are nationally representative.


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