BlackBerry Playbook remains competitive
Uptake of tablets has begun in earnest in Canada. According to August data from Ipsos Reid, tablet adoption grew 400% in Canada in just over a year and a half, for a penetration rate of 15% among internet users, up from 3% in January 2011. Ereaders, by comparison, increased penetration by 200% over the same time period, and smartphones by 75%, albeit from a much more established user base.
Apple’s iPad has the headstart in the tablet market in Canada, and continues to maintain a significant lead, but others—especially devices on the Android OS—are catching up and grabbing share. Samsung, Acer and Asus, which primarily run Android, together accounted for 19% of the Canadian market in August, up from 13% one year prior.
And Google is bullish on the tablet’s future. In July, the company debuted their first-ever tablet hardware offering, the Nexus 7, in Canada, as well as in the US. The device is too new to see any significant penetration—yet—but it is sure to make the field more competitive in the near future.
The real second-place mantle in the tablet competition in Canada still belongs to BlackBerry Play, and in surprising news, given RIM’s generally poor performance overall, the tablet gained a significant bump in market share—19% penetration, up from 10% the previous year. Ipsos suggested that this was the likely result of heavy price-discounting, however, rather than an enthusiastic embrace of the beleaguered brand.
An earlier study by Ipsos showed that those who already owned tablets in Canada were reasonably engaged by the devices. In April, 68% of tablet owners polled said they used the smart device at least once per day. However, tablets did appear to suffer somewhat from user fatigue. One year earlier, 72% of respondents reported using the device at least once a day. A similar drop was seen in the number of hours per week users said they spent on their devices.
As the big-name tablet manufacturers, and the operating systems they run, compete to attract users in Canada and increase device penetration, marketers will need to keep a close eye not only on uptake of the large-screen, rich media devices, but also on the frequency of use and preferred mobile activities.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Media CEOs Look to Smartphones, Tablets for Digital Growth” and “Epublishing Offers Brighter Future for Magazines and Newspapers.”