Tablets Most Often Used at Home…Duh

While a large number of mobile searches take place in cars

While some folks see no difference between smartphones and tablets, it turns out that more than 65 percent of tablet owners primarily use the devices in their homes, according to a study conducted by Nielsen, mobile ad network xAd and call measurement firm Telmetrics.

The study stems from an online survey of 1,500 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users, and specifically looked at restaurant, auto and travel searches conducted on smartphones and tablets.

For smartphones “the majority of use [more than 65 percent] is on the go; tablets is at home,” said Monica Ho, vp of marketing at xAd. “A lot of what we’re seeing with tablets is [the devices] are now being [used for] what you would typically do on desktop.”

Whether it be restaurant, auto or travel-related, tablet users usually check out a brand’s website as opposed to an app. The study found that 51 percent of tablet users interested in restaurants, 48 percent in auto and 56 percent in travel prefer to check out branded websites.

Smartphone users interested in travel also prefer a brand’s site (47 percent of them), but 53 percent of smartphone users interested in restaurants and 34 percent in auto prefer local directory apps like Yelp.

xAd founder and CEO Dipanshu Sharma said the app-versus-site difference means that quick-service restaurants and auto body shops don’t necessarily need to build an app while “for travel it makes more sense to have an app.” The study also found that 51 percent of smartphone restaurant searches and 42 percent of smartphone auto searches take place in the car. 

Mobile advertisers can take heart that their dollars aren’t (probably) being wasted on mobile searchers. The companies found that 66 percent of mobile searchers noticed mobile ads and 33 percent even clicked on a mobile search ad.