Who Are Today’s Tablet Users and Why Have They Become So Important?

Who Are Today's Tablet Users and Why Have They Become So Important?Are you one of the millions who did not know, a mere three years ago, the impact that tablet computers were destined to have on the entire computing world? If you fit into this category, then you are in for yet another unexpected technological change that is being introduced by Microsoft. This change was introduced by Microsoft this past week and broke an assumed foundation of its policy when it announced its intention to produce its own tablet computers. It is believed that Microsoft woke up to the realization that its very existence was at stake and that the company needed to take the bull by the horns. However, since it is of little concern to most consumers if the computer giant survives, only time will tell if its new strategy will be successful and if its Windows 8 OS will march to victory. That brings us to the question as to who are today’s tablet users. A recent (June 2012) in-depth study from the folks at Online Publishers Association, in conjunction with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., reports which consumers have chosen to use tablets over conventional computers, which tablets that they have chosen, and how they use the new devices.

Who Are Today’s Tablet Users?

  • Today’s tablet users are fairly balanced between men and women. Men 49% and women 51%.
  • The basic age group for tablet users peaks between 24- and 34-year-olds.
  • Most users boast a household income in the $50k or higher range.
  • It is estimated that 31% of the Internet population, aged from 8 to 64 years old, use a tablet.

From the material collected throughout their study, the researchers reported that their general consensus was that 58% of tablet users were satisfied with their tablet computers. Based on these findings stating that tablet users are expected to grow to 117 million by the year 2013, it is understandable why Microsoft sees tablets as a must have if it is to remain one of the leaders in the marketplace. With that thought in mind and given the uncertainty of its success, it is also easy to rationalize its decision to limit access to its new Windows 8 operating system, which is specifically designed for tablet users. In its news brief this week, Microsoft also gave us our first glimpse of its new branded tablet, called Surface. Basically, it appears that this tablet is quite similar to the iPad with the exception that its cover is actually a keypad that the consumer can opt to use for typing if so desired.

What Tablets Do Tablet Users Prefer?

The easy answer here with no surprises: The report clearly shows Apple continuing to dominate in the tablet market place with its ever popular iPad tablet computers.

Who Are Today's Tablet Users and Why Have They Become So Important?

What I found surprising in the above report was how well the Amazon Kindle Fire represented itself. Recently, some websites have reported that, due to weak sales, the Amazon Kindle Fire was sliding into oblivion. According to this report, however, it ranks the highest in the Android class of tablets; users must continue to have some type of respect for the pint-sized tablet. Another factor in regards to Microsoft’s success or failure will be determined by how well Google’s introduction of its Nexus tablet, being built by Asus, is received by the consumer market. I would venture a guess that, when Google makes the announcement next week regarding the expected release date and cost for its new tablet, Android numbers will surge. However, like many consumers, I will be looking at price. If Google is able to price the Nexus tablet in the $200 range or below, sales should be brisk. If it is above that, it may find itself priced out of the market.

What Are Tablets Being Used For?

Below are listed the most common reasons ranked — from most important to least important — that consumers provided for using their tablet computer.

  • To access content and information.
  • To surf the Internet.
  • To check for email messages.
  • To play games.
  • To gain access to social networks.
  • To listen to music.
  • To read books.
  • To buy stuff.

After reading this list, I find that I could move any or all of these items to the top of the list since I use my tablet (Amazon Kindle Fire) to access each of these categories. Another thing I appreciate about my tablet is the ability to multitask while using it. I know that my wife and I sit down of an evening, tablets in hand, to watch TV. I have my Fire and my wife has her iPad, however, despite the report’s findings, I am reluctant to call this multi-tasking since today’s TV programs require very little focus when watching and one can surf, email, or read Facebook entries with ease.

Who Are Today's Tablet Users and Why Have They Become So Important?

I would also venture a guess that many of my fellow Gnomies actually function while juggling three screens or more. This multitasking can include watching TV, using their tablet, and/or managing a PC plus a smartphone all at once. If you fall into one of these categories, let me welcome you into the realm of the Super Geek!

Some of the Other Interesting Facts About Tablet Users

  • Tablet users spent, on average, approximately $359 for products during the past 12 months.
  • Tablet users heavily research products and services before buying.
  • Tablet users prefer free apps with ads instead of paying for apps.
  • iTunes and Amazon are the preferred sources used for purchases.
  • The average time spent on the tablet varies, but is usually spread out over the course of a day and amounts to a total of approximately 14 hours a week.
  • Consumers spend about $2.6 billion a year on apps for their tablets.

So there you have it. A story of us, our tablets, and how we use them to entertain ourselves. Do you have any tablet experiences that you would like to share with us? Please feel free to comment.

Download your copy of the full OPA report: A Portrait of Todays Tablet User Wave II

Source: OPA press release

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by citrixonline

Smile.ly

There should be an image here!A lot of people use social networking services to connect with friends and family and don’t want to be bothered by interactions with companies in any way, but then again, more and more people are willing to communicate with brands on social networking services and are even proactively communicating with them. These users are a big help to companies because they can provide feedback and spread the word through their networks. A lot of the time companies have to track these consumers down, but a site called Smile.ly provides a community of people who want to try new products and talk about them.

As you can imagine, the value is pretty clear for companies because they get a social focus group of sorts, and for the community members, they receive incentives for doing what they do best — trying new products and discussing them. These community members are also usually some of the first people to experience these products and offers, so bragging rights are a part of the process. You can’t say every company doesn’t want to hear from the public.

BetaEasy

In this social media environment, your users expect to be heard. Before all of this craziness began, people were sort of afraid to communicate with companies, but now anyone can do it through Twitter, a blog, and so on. The tables have turned and the users are in charge, which is a fact that is going straight to all of our heads. With that said, pretty much everyone will tell you that it’s important to listen to your users, and that’s very good advice. Whether you’re looking to involve your users in a beta test or just want customer feedback on what you’re doing, BetaEasy has a service that can help.

BetaEasy has options that work with Web sites and desktop applications. The feedback portion in particular makes it easy for anyone and everyone to speak their mind. Users can request features, vote on other submitted features, submit bug info, and make general comments. These discussions are threaded, so a real conversation can take place among a group of people. Once you have the feedback, you’ll just need to implement what works, which is sometimes easier said than done.

PEW Report – Most Won’t Pay For Online News

In a not so surprising survey result, the Project for Excellence in Journalism states that most people will not pay for online news. Those surveyed also stated that they don’t mind online ads as long as the news is free. The report also stated that about $1 B less was spent on online advertising last year than the year before. This was the first decline in online advertising since 2002. The survey also indicated that about 21% of users click on ads some of the time, which is higher than most thought it would be.

In a recent article it also states:

Out of six in 10 Americans who say they get at least some news online during a typical day:

  • About 35% of Americans say they have a favorite news site that they check every day.
  • Among that small pool, only 19% said they would pay for news online. That includes people who already give cash to news sites.
  • 82% of people with favorite news sites said they’d find somewhere else to find their news if  they started asking for payments.
  • A person spends an average of three minutes and four seconds per visit on a news site.

“If we move to some pay system, that shift is going to have to surmount significant consumer resistance,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of PEW’s project.

What is not so surprising is that cable news is  flourishing, lead by Fox News. I am one of those who gets my daily dose of news from cable TV news stations, but do not limit myself to anyone of the many available.

What is clear from the data is that neither the news organizations nor those who surf the Internet are ready for paid content. So what are online news sites going to do? Maybe a tiered subscription with some free, some paid for content may work.

Comments welcome.

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Amazon Prime Users May Get Free Kindles… Notice The Word “May.”

If you are not familiar with Amazon’s Prime service, it works like this. For a flat rate of $79 a year, a Prime customer can order anything from Amazon with a guarantee of free two day delivery.  So does it work? I have been a Prime customer for two years and thus far I have been extremely satisfied with the service. But there is a huge catch. The catch is that the $79 fee is only worth it if you order a lot of stuff from Amazon.

Back in January, Amazon chose a select group of Amazon Prime users [ I wasn’t one of those selected], to receive a free Kindle. But it wasn’t really free since you had to buy the Kindle. But if you didn’t like it, you got a complete refund and got to keep the Kindle. Now TechCrunch is reporting that all Prime users may get the same offer.

A recent article also stated:

If those users buy enough books, and Amazon gets the production costs of the Kindle down enough, Amazon can get Kindles into “millions” of people’s hands without losing their shirt. At least when the goal is to break even or better over the course of a couple of years, the expected lifetime of a Kindle.

Interesting idea and concept, if in fact Amazon does offer the Kindle to Prime users.  I have been experimenting with the Kindle software on my PC and it works great. I can see an advantage to getting a Kindle if the price were really free. Who doesn’t like free? LOL

Comments welcome.

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Mozilla Firefox Has Picked Up 30 Million More Users In Just 8 Weeks

Who could have ever imagined that Mozilla would have been chasing down the pride of Microsoft and its Internet Explorer browser? Well it seems that the mighty are falling and that Firefox is continuing to gain market share. But to pick up some 30 million more users in just 8 weeks is truly amazing. Amazing even to those at Mozilla who stated in a recent article the following:

Mozilla’s open-source Firefox browser has gained 30 million users over the past eight weeks, as it continues to gain on Internet Explorer.

Chief executive John Lilly revealed the increase in user adoption in a Twitter post on Monday, and Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, confirmed it to ZDNet UK on Tuesday.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of users for Firefox,” said Nitot. “Firefox checks for new versions every 24 hours, when it’s running, and when it checks, it pings the Mozilla server. We count the number of pings.”

Nitot explained that counting the requests gives Mozilla the number of active daily users. To calculate the number of monthly users, the organisation multiplies the number of active daily users by three, to adjust for days when people are not browsing.

Over the past eight weeks, Mozilla has seen an average increase of 10 million daily users, from approximately 103 million to 113 million. That translates to a total of approximately 330 million monthly users .

“It’s amazing to have 330 million users,” said Nitot. “That’s the size of the population of the USA.”

After using Outlook Express for years I finally made the change over to Mozilla Thunderbird as my email software for my Gmail account. Thus far it has been working just fine and is a definite improvement over Windows Live mail which left much to be desired when I used it in Windows 7. Enough said.

Comments as always are welcome.

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PS Make sure you update Firefox 3 to 3.5.4

AT&T To Customers – Stop Using Your Apple iPhone! LOL

AT&T has had a sweetheart of a deal as being the sole provider for those who purchase an Apple iPhone. Along with buying the iPhone you also get to pay AT&T up to $2,000 for a 2 year service contract. But here is the best part. If you don’t pay your bill, you get terminated and hit with a cancellation fee. But AT&T gets to keep your money even though it can’t keep up with demand. This is another prime example of corporate greed running amok in America.

According to an article over at the NY Times it also states that:

Owners use them like minicomputers, which they are, and use them a lot. Not only do iPhone owners download applications, stream music and videos and browse the Web at higher rates than the average smartphone user, but the average iPhone owner can also use 10 times the network capacity used by the average smartphone user.

“They don’t even realize how much data they’re using,” said Gene Munster, a senior securities analyst with Piper Jaffray.

The result is dropped calls, spotty service, delayed text and voice messages, and glacial download speeds as AT&T’s cellular network strains to meet the demand. Another result is outraged customers.

And there is this:

Taylor Sbicca, a 27-year-old systems administrator in San Francisco, checks his iPhone 10 to 15 times a day. But he is not making calls. He checks the scores of last night’s baseball game and updates his TwitterYelp and maps the quickest way to get there. He checks the local weather report to see if he needs a coat before heading out to dinner — then he picks a restaurant on Yelp and maps the quickest way to get there.

“It’s so slow, it feels like I’m on a dial-up modem,” he said. Shazam, an application that identifies songs being played on the radio or TV, takes so long to load that the tune may be over by the time the app is ready to hear it. On numerous occasions, Mr. Sbicca says, he missed invitations to meet friends because his text messages had been delayed.

And picking up a cell signal in his apartment? “You hit the dial button and the phone just sits there, saying it’s connecting for 30 seconds,” he said.

More than 20 million other smartphone users are on the AT&T network, but other phones do not drain the network the way the nine million iPhone users do. Indeed, that is why the howls of protest are more numerous in the dense urban areas with higher concentrations of iPhone owners.

“It’s almost worthless to try and get on 3G during peak times in those cities,” Mr. Munster said, referring to the 3G network. “When too many users get in the area, the call drops.” The problems seem particularly pronounced in New York and San Francisco, where Mr. Munster estimates AT&T’s network shoulders as much as 20 percent of all the iPhone users in the United States.

What is AT&T going to do about the problem? According to one employee it plans on upgrades to the system. But in the meantime, keep paying your monthly bill. Things will get better. LOL

Comments welcome.

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Linux – I Already Knew About This ‘Dirty Little Secret’

I just read an article about what the author described as the ‘dirty little secret’ about Linux. It isn’t about some dark secret hidden in the Linux code, rather it is Linux users themselves and how they treat new Linux users. I have tried various Linux distributions during the past decade, many which I have enjoyed using. But I do have to agree with the author that some Linux fan-boys are just plain rude when it comes to answering questions by those who are new to Linux. This is not true of every forum, take the Linux forum at Scot’s Newsletter. They have a crew who actually care and will help people who are first time users of Linux.

But according to Nillaybite this is the exception to the rule:

Some Linux users want to keep it “pure”, which means that anybody who isn’t already a hard-core geek will be mocked and ridiculed mercilessly for asking simple questions. Now this is definitely not true of every Linux forum out there, but if you’re thinking of trying Linux, you should be prepared to be derided as a “n00b” at least once or twice.

One of the main reasons that I ended up using Ubuntu is that I found their support forums friendly and helpful, and they’re not afraid to incorporate proprietary software in order to make it easier for you to use. On the other end of the spectrum was Fedora, a very polished and pretty operating system apparently designed for the elite open source geek. I found their forums very unfriendly and unhelpful, and as a result switched to another distribution within a few days because I simply was not able to get the help that I needed.

If a movement such as Linux/open source isn’t growing, it’s slowly dying. So if we want Linux around for the future, we need to make sure it’s growing. And the only way that can happen is if we welcome new users with open arms, even if they are computer novices. In the end you’re only hurting yourself by chasing away new users.

Open source software should be the epitome of “open”, which includes the need to be welcoming to all. And if you’re getting too many “stupid questions” about your software, maybe you should look at revamping it with the end user in mind.

But I have a question for those who read this. What has been your experience with Linux forums?

Comments welcome.

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CoTweet

My line of work requires me to help run a few companies’ Twitter accounts, and while this can be a lot of fun, it can also be challenging. Since I’m not directly employed by the companies and serve as a consultant, I only know so much. This means that when certain questions are asked, I have to turn to people internally to help me answer them. If you’ve ever tried to have multiple people run a Twitter account, then you know how complicated it can be. I’ve always just used the main Twitter site to manage everything, but I think I’m going to start using CoTweet whenever I have to operate an account for a company.

Just like with Twitter, you can tweet directly through CoTweet and monitor keywords, but this service takes thing up a notch by enabling you to manage multiple accounts and multiple users. I’ve already started using CoTweet with one of the companies that I work with and the user management makes it possible to assign tweets for certain people to respond to. This helps to make sure that things don’t get lost in the shuffle. I also like the ability for users to classify themselves as being on duty when they’re available so that messages get directed to them. Twitter is certainly becoming chaotic, but CoTweet will help us calm down and catch our breath.

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12% Of Internet Users Are Idiots!

According to the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), 12% of Internet users have admitted to ordering a product that was advertised in a spam message. Though this is not surprising, it is these idiots that cause the remainder of us to fight spam and the junk mail that persists year after year. No matter how many times people are warned about junk mail, there are those that fall victim to this garbage.

According to an article over at ars technica it also states:

Admitting the secret shame

The MAAWG conducted 800 interviews by phone and Internet across the US with people who had e-mail addresses not managed by a corporate IT staff. It found that two-thirds of the group said that they were very or somewhat experienced with Internet security, and a majority used filters of some kind in order to avoid spam. Eighty-two percent were aware of bots and botnets, though not many believed they were at risk of being victimized by one.

Slightly less than half (48 percent) said that they have never clicked on a spam e-mail. That’s the good news, but that means the other half have clicked on or responded to spam. But why? The answers will undoubtedly horrify you. A full 12 percent said that they were interested in the product or service being offered—those erection drug and mail order bride ads do reach a certain market, it appears.

Seventeen percent said that they made a mistake when they did so—understandable—but another 13 percent said they simply had no idea why they did it; they just did. Another six percent “wanted to see what would happen.”

This is unbelievable:

13 percent said they simply had no idea why they did it; they just did. Another six percent “wanted to see what would happen.”

As long as we have these folks living among us, spam will continue to flood our in boxes.

Comments welcome.

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Clixpy

When you create a Web site, you try to figure out how people are going to respond to it and interact with it. Despite your best efforts, there’s no way to predict how everyone is going to use your site, but there are some things that you can do to actually get a glimpse of what your visitors are doing on your site. This information can then be used to make changes that would improve the experience for everyone. Traditional analytics packages just give you straight data to look at, but Clixpy enables you to actually watch your users navigate around your site.

You can give the service a try through the demo that they offer. Once you create an account, this recording functionality is enabled by simply placing some code on your site. You’re provided with some initial recording captures to get started, but you’ll have to pay for additional captures to keep things going. With that said, they aren’t very expensive, and you might only want to use them whenever you make changes to your site, anyway.

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tweepz

Twitter is growing exponentially as each day passes. It’s rather remarkable, actually. Here is a service that is incredibly simple, yet it’s exactly the type of thing that people have been waiting for. When the service first launched, it wasn’t very difficult to keep up with who was tweeting and what they were saying, but with such a large ongoing influx of new users, this task has become challenging. Thankfully, services have begun to emerge that make finding people on Twitter much easier. A site called tweepz is just one of these search engines.

When you use something like tweepz, Twitter instantly becomes an even more important tool because you can find the right people to follow based on your interests. With this service, you can search through people’s bios, names, locations and so on. Once you search for something, you can then filter the results that are delivered to you by number of followers, number following, and join date just for starters. The site may not include everyone, but it’s a great starting point.

Cheap Netbooks Becoming The Norm

As the recession continues to tighten our pocketbooks, more and more folks are buying Netbooks in lieu of the traditional laptops or desktop computer systems. But what is even more interesting is that Microsoft contends that these pint sized laptops use Windows. But is that really true? Well according to some who work in the computer field, Linux is still a viable alternative. It seems that at one recent European conference, Linux prevailed. 

Systems running Ubuntu with a screen like the one below, seemed to be the primary OS being used by conference attendees. 

 

 

So what are the real numbers on who is using Windows and who is using Linux on the Netbooks? Who knows for sure. But I’m using Linux on my mini. What about you? Windows or Linux on your netbook?

Let us know.

Comments welcome.

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CrowdSound

Are you listening to your customers, users, or visitors? If you’re not, then your offering may not be around for very long. For many years, the standard in business has been to talk to your customers as a whole without actually listening to them collectively or as individuals. This just doesn’t fly anymore. Social media has made it much easier for businesses to actually communicate with their customers, but not everyone has accepted this new reality. With a little work in this area, customers can be kept happy and products can be greatly improved due to the feedback that is received from users. CrowdSound is a great first step for companies interested in finding out what their customers have to say.

No matter who you are, as long as you’re building something for people, CrowdSound will prove to be useful for you. By using their widget, your community can make suggestions and vote them up or down together. Their comments shed even more light on the suggestions, and you can even specify the status of them to show that you really are listening. The service becomes more useful with a paid account, but the free version will get you started.