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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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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and Terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • New products for a new world
                        • Strong potential, but not without risks
                          • A growing range of choices
                            • Manufacturers play a key role in sales and marketing
                              • eReaders and tablets still in an “early adopter” phase
                                • eReaders maintain an advantage in terms of eBook reading
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • How many is too many?
                                    • The future is in video
                                    • Inspire Insights—Trend: Affection

                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                        • Key points
                                          • An emerging market in the early stages of growth
                                            • Both growth and risks lie ahead
                                              • Mobile computing and eReader sales
                                                • Figure 1: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of mobile PCs and eReaders at current prices, 2006-14
                                                • Figure 2: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of mobile PCs and eReaders at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2006-14
                                              • Fan-chart forecast
                                                  • Figure 3: Fan chart forecast of U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of mobile PCs and eReaders at current prices, 2006-14
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • Key points
                                                  • There’s an app for that
                                                    • Figure 4: U.S. smartphone platform, share of installed base, October 2010
                                                  • Revving up to 4G
                                                    • eBooks slowly reach the mainstream
                                                      • Figure 5: eBooks usage in past 12 months, January 2011
                                                    • A post-recession bounce?
                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Tablets—At the center of consumer electronics convergence
                                                          • Figure 6: Consumer electronics and PC sales, by category, 2010
                                                        • eReaders face competition from new and old media
                                                          • Figure 7: U.S. print and eBook sales, 2006-11
                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Tablets prevail over eReaders
                                                            • Figure 8: U.S. unit sales to dealers of tablets and eReaders, segmented by product type, 2010 and 2011
                                                        • Segment Performance—Tablets

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • A meteoric rise—thanks to Apple
                                                              • Figure 9: The next-generation Apple iPad 2
                                                            • Here and gone or built to last?
                                                              • Figure 10: The Motorola Xoom tablet
                                                            • Sales and forecast of mobile computers
                                                              • Figure 11: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of mobile computers at current prices, 2006-14
                                                              • Figure 12: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of mobile computers at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-14
                                                              • Figure 13: U.S. unit sales of tablet PCs, 2010-15
                                                          • Segment Performance—eReaders

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Initial explosive growth slows
                                                                • Figure 14: The Barnes & Noble Nook Color
                                                              • Destined for the low end?
                                                                • Figure 15: The value-priced ECTACO JetBook Mini eReader
                                                              • eBooks slated for continued healthy growth
                                                                • Sales and forecast of eReaders
                                                                  • Figure 16: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of eReaders at current prices, 2006-14
                                                                  • Figure 17: U.S. sales to dealers and forecast of eReaders at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-14
                                                                  • Figure 18: U.S. unit sales and average prices of eReaders, 2006-11
                                                              • Retail Channels

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Many devices bought directly from manufacturers
                                                                    • Figure 19: Source of latest tablet or eReader, January 2011
                                                                  • Brick-and-mortar an increasingly critical channel
                                                                    • Coming to a cellphone store near you
                                                                    • Leading Companies

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Tablets—Apple prevails
                                                                          • Figure 20: Tablet ownership, by brand, January 2011
                                                                        • Company profiles—tablets
                                                                          • Apple
                                                                            • Hewlett-Packard
                                                                              • Motorola
                                                                                • Samsung
                                                                                  • Additional vendors
                                                                                    • eReaders—Amazon still dominates, but for how long?
                                                                                      • Figure 21: eReader ownership, by brand, January 2011
                                                                                    • Company profiles—eReaders
                                                                                      • Amazon
                                                                                        • Barnes & Noble
                                                                                          • Kobo
                                                                                            • Sony
                                                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Google
                                                                                                  • Kno
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: The Kno dual-screen eReader
                                                                                                  • Notion Ink
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: The Notion Ink Adam tablet
                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Carriers, PC companies dominate ad spend
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Advertising spending by leading tablet, eReader and related brands, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                    • Ready, set, launch!
                                                                                                      • TV advertising
                                                                                                        • Amazon focuses on a single compelling benefit
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Amazon Kindle ad, 2010
                                                                                                        • Apple makes it about the apps
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Apple iPad ad, 2010
                                                                                                        • Barnes & Noble educates
                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Barnes & Noble Nook ad, 2010
                                                                                                        • Samsung hits the road
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Samsung Galaxy Tab ad, 2010
                                                                                                        • Print advertising
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Amazon Kindle print ad
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Apple iPad 2 ad
                                                                                                          • Figure 31: People Magazine app ad
                                                                                                        • Online initiatives
                                                                                                        • eBook Reading/Listening

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Young, affluent are most likely eBook users—but not always on eReaders
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by age, January 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by household income, January 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by level of education, January 2011
                                                                                                          • eReader and Tablet Ownership

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • eReaders, tablets still in early adopter phase
                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by age, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by household income, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by presence and number of children, January 2011
                                                                                                              • Younger consumers strongly interested in owning tablets
                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Interest in owning/planned purchase, or any eReader or tablet, by age, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Interest in owning/planned purchase, of any eReader or tablet, by household income, January 2011
                                                                                                              • iPad, Kindle lead in purchase intent
                                                                                                                • Figure 42: For named eReaders and tablets, ownership and interest in owning/planned purchase, January 2011
                                                                                                            • eReaders and Tablets as Gifts

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Gift purchase more popular for eReaders than tablets
                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: For named eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, January 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by age, January 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by household income, January 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by presence and number of children, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Men more likely to buy eReaders as gifts and use them for work
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Likelihood of giving an eReader as a gift/using for education/work, January 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Likelihood of giving an eReader as a gift/using for education/work, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                              • Content Viewed

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • eReaders retain traction in the book space
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Text-based content viewed on eReaders and tablets, use or plan to use, January 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Additional content viewed on eReaders and tablets, use or plan to use, January 2011
                                                                                                                • Important eReader Features

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Book lending support one of the most valued features
                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Importance of various features and functions for eReaders, January 2011
                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Importance of various features and functions for tablets, January 2011
                                                                                                                  • Behavior Changes after Receiving eReader or Tablet

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Book buying and reading increases with eReader ownership
                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Change in book buying and reading after getting eReader, January 2011
                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Change in book buying and reading after getting eReader, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                                      • eReader experience most compelling for books
                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: The eReader experience compared to books, magazines and newspapers, January 2011
                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: The eReader experience compared to books, magazines and newspapers, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Asians, Hispanics most likely eBook and tablet owners
                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011
                                                                                                                      • Custom Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Mid-level technology adopters most likely to use eReaders
                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: eBooks read/listened in past 12 months and device used, by Experian Simmons technology adoption segmentation, January 2011
                                                                                                                            • High ownership seen in households with children, high-income Hispanics
                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by gender and presence of children, January 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Ownership of any eReader, tablet or other device, by Hispanic origin and household income, January 2011
                                                                                                                              • Urban dwellers and fathers; important targets for gifting
                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by urban status, January 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by gender and presence of children, January 2011
                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: For named eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, January 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: eReaders and tablets, received or bought as gift, or planning to buy as gift, by gender, January 2011
                                                                                                                              • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                • American Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Barnes & Noble, Inc
                                                                                                                                • Borders Group
                                                                                                                                • Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA)
                                                                                                                                • Comcast Corporation
                                                                                                                                • CompUSA Inc
                                                                                                                                • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                                                                                                • Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA)
                                                                                                                                • LG Electronics Inc (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Microsoft Corporation
                                                                                                                                • Motorola Mobility Holdings
                                                                                                                                • Samsung Electronics (USA)
                                                                                                                                • Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
                                                                                                                                • Sony Corporation of America
                                                                                                                                • Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
                                                                                                                                • The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                • Vizio, Inc.

                                                                                                                                Tablets and eReaders - US - April 2011

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