Rise Of The Tablet

Actual figures for ownership vary across different sources and are constantly changing.  According to TGI, Irish ownership of a tablet device is at 9% (Choices 4 TGI 2012), Future Foundation (Nov 2012) claims we’re at 21% ownership, while Red C research has 16% ownership.  IAB (July 2012) research found 12% of Irish people go online using a tablet device.

The one constant is that tablet growth will continue into 2013 and beyond.  The first generation iPad was only launched in 2010 and already the number of iPads sold world-wide are around the 100 million mark. The introduction of mini-tablets and hybrid devices will blur the lines between tablet and laptops. 17% of adults claimed they would purchase a tablet within the next 12 months (Red C 2012).

A study from Future Foundation found the majority of iPad owners are using their laptops less frequency as a result of purchasing a tablet (European average 73% less). While the PC continues to dominate in the workplace, overwhelming majorities of Irish iPad owners say that at home they prefer to use their tablets (rather than their PC or mobile phone) to access the internet. Most will use their tablet at home in the evening.  The most common activities undertaken on the iPad are reading news, browsing the web and checking email.

So with the continuous growth of tablet devices in Ireland, you would expect to see an increase in the level of advertising investment? The rise of tablets can’t be ignored but campaigns for tablets are often grouped with mobile. Google Adwords on tablets account for approx. 8-10% of the total search spend (Mindshare estimate) and tablet display is less than 2% of the total digital display.

How can Irish advertiser’s catch-up? The first thing is to treat mobile and tablet differently. Physically they look different in size but are treated the same in advertising campaigns. Consumer behaviour is different on each so how brands use both in terms of messages, formats, dwell time, and usage occasions need to be taken into account. With many analysts ’expecting global tablet sales to surpass PC sales this year the tablet has certainly risen.