Nielsen: Tablets pushing owners to spend quality time with smartphone

A Nielsen survey surprisingly reports that usage of smartphones in the household has gone up since picking up a tablet. If tablet owners are using the phone more, will that continue when it's time to upgrade the tablet?
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Survey giant Nielsen's latest report addresses tablet ownership and how it is has affected owner's usage of other devices in the household. Not surprisingly, survey respondents reported a big drop in PC usage of all kinds since getting the shiny new tablet. Very surprisingly, they also reported that usage of smartphones in the household has gone up since picking up the tablet. While it seems logical that exposure to smartphones might drive owners to try the tablet, it seems the opposite may be happening.

Nielsen's findings about dropped computer usage for households with at least one tablet mimics what I see in my own house. It is now extremely rare to see someone sitting in front of the TV balancing a laptop, and quite common to see a tablet of some kind in hand. Computer face time has definitely decreased, with tablets taking over during non-work hours.

Those of us immersed in the tech world often forget that smartphones are new to a lot of people. There are still an amazing number of people who have never owned a smartphone, and millions who only recently grabbed their first. The Nielsen findings show that 21 percent of tablet owners find they now use the smartphone even more than they did before getting the tablet. It could be that using the tablet, usually an iPad according to the survey (82 percent ownership), has demonstrated the convenience of using a handheld device while doing other things like watching TV.

This may demonstrate what happens when consumers get exposed to multiple types of connected devices. They may end up grabbing the most convenient to use. It makes me wonder if tablet owners will replace current devices with updated versions, or just stick with the phone.

Image credit: Nielsen

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