The NPD Group reported today that the use of digital tablets like the iPad has more than doubled across the globe this year.
According to surveys of approximately 14,000 TV owners across 14 different regions worldwide, the research group found that a whopping 10 percent of those surveyed reported using their iPad or other tablet to watch video. This is up from about four percent of the same population surveyed a year ago.
The study noted a high concentration of videos being watched on tablets in urban China, with 35 percent of respondents replying in the affirmative. The fastest growing group? Turkey – where tablet viewing behavior has jumped from 3.1 percent to 16.5 percent in a single year.
In a not too surprising note, NPD Group reports that 70 percent of the respondents said that they have watched TV on a device other than a TV.
“While the trends vary by region, it is evident that consumers around the globe are watching more video and TV content with their portable electronic devices as these provide additional means of accessing content,” said Riddhi Patel, Research Director of Consumer Insights for NPD DisplaySearch. “Despite this increase, however, TVs still remain the primary device of choice for viewing TV content, with 30% of consumers reporting that they view TV/video content on TVs alone.”
These numbers are against a backdrop, as Patel notes, of people still watching most of their video on TV screens. The NPD report also says that TV replacement cycles are shorter this year than last, as consumers upgrade their TV sets with improved picture quality, larger overall size and HD performance. LCD panel TVs continue to win in the global marketplace as the flat panel tech of choice, according to the report.
Will iPads eventually take over as the screen of choice in most homes? Most likely not. However, I can foresee a day when perhaps hotels and other travel destinations provide iPads for in-room viewing, perhaps as an alternative for children and parents to watch different shows simultaneously. At some point, the iPad – or whatever succeeds it – will become as ubiquitous in motels as the Gideon Bible once was.