Mobile analytics firm, Flurry, have new statistics for tablet apps which sheds light onto a ever-growing problem for tablet app developers: how do consumers use tablets? As the charts and use-data reveal, tablets are a bit of a conundrum.
One could argue that most tablet users are accessing their devices all day, but a look at gaming and entertainment apps shows that many users, especially users between ages 25-54, are hitting tablets the heaviest at night during TV’s notable “prime-time” hours between 7pm-11pm. This is especially true of productivity apps.
The data show that the tablet is no longer a living room only device, but a highly portable device and always-on device as far as media consumption is concerned. In fact TV-style prime-time (7:00 pm to 11:00 pm) accounts for only 33% of usage compared 65% to 70% for traditional TV. This finding of iPad pervasiveness is not surprising for teens and college students, the anecdotes simply support the findings. However we were quite surprised at the data on working adults – we expected significant let-up in tablet usage during work hours and heavier usage around traditional prime time.
April 3, 2014 was the four year anniversary of the iPad – an anniversary marked with poor analysis by industry experts claiming that iPads and tablets have already started on their decline. Whether iPads continue with dying sales numbers largely depends on marketing and app deployment strategies.
Apple seems to think the iPad is “the fastest growing product in Apple’s history” but that also depends on leveraging the generational divide. It’s clear that teens and younger students are ready to turn to tablets for all-day PC-replacements, but that also means productivity apps must provide the necessary tools and opportunities:
It has become so many things to so many people and there isn’t really an 80% common use case. Another interpretation is that the tablet has an amazing opportunity ahead of it completely replacing the personal computer as teens and college students begin to enter the workforce and the new breed of personal productivity software designed bottoms-up for the tablet gets the chance to mature. The rise of productivity app usage over the past year and the introduction of Microsoft Office for iPad gives us enough reason to believe that the second interpretation is the good one.