Tablets and eReaders - US - April 2011
With high degrees of interactivity, flexibility and portability, digital media has quickly gained popularity and become an important factor in how U.S. consumers spend their time. Electronics manufacturers have accordingly sought to capitalize on this trend by creating a range of new devices to access these media, which in some cases have further influenced and altered consumer behavior.
eReaders and tablet PCs are two examples of game-changing devices. eReaders have caused many consumers to rethink their relationships with books, newspapers and magazines—formats that have been around for hundreds of years. Meanwhile, tablets, although still an emerging category, appear to be moving beyond meeting various PC functions and instead are serving as hybrid devices that take on capabilities from phones, media players and gaming devices as well as PCs. Through a rich array of installable apps, as well as web content, consumers are often using tablets as highly customizable tools that they can adapt to their precise needs.
In this report, Mintel examines the emerging and rapidly changing markets for these devices and identifies current trends, as well as strategies for future growth, including:
- Market size and segmentation: Historic and projected sales trends will be analyzed, based on data from 2006-15 for eReaders. As tablet PCs only reached mass consumer levels in 2010, sales data for the overall mobile computing category is provided along with guidance as to likely market share for the tablet form factor
- Competitive factors: Tablets are true convergence devices, with many products offering cellular connections that allow them to take on both computing and communications functions, while companies such as cable TV operators begin to offer video content through these devices adding entertainment. Mintel examines the array of devices that overlap with tablets, and also looks to the older media that eReaders are hoping to replace
- Leading companies and innovators: The eReader and tablet market is still in its initial growth phase and is thus crowded with players as companies hope to establish a foothold in this new sector. Mintel describes market strategies for the current leaders—including Amazon and Barnes & Noble for eReaders and Apple for tablets—and also looks to the many other companies, including cellphone, PC and consumer electronics specialists and newcomers that are also making investments in this space
- Consumer behavior and needs: Based on both Mintel proprietary surveys and Experian Simmons NCS/NHCS survey data for adults, teens and kids, Mintel analyzes consumer behavior, attitudes and preferences regarding both eReaders and tablets. Specific areas of discussion include brand ownership, desired features and how respondents are using their eReaders and tablets, including media consumption
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