iPads rule the tablet world

by Richard Riehle

These two articles sound, at first apprehension, amazing… That is, until you start to think through what they really represent. Of the millions of tablets in use in the continental US…what is the proportion of iPads in this mix…? I would make a wild guess and state that the percentage of iPads in the US tablet market is about 97%. I might be mildly overestimating the numbers…but not by much…or by to any important degree.

The idea that sitting at home with an iPad; that you may very well be consuming much more WiFi data than you may have with your iPhone (in your pocket all day long, wherever you go…). With the iPhone, you may be checking up on the weather, some sports scores, and a smattering of games, or online commerce…

With the iPad, you may be sitting on your living room couch, watching Netflix (a huge source of data, streaming various forms of media from your home PC (or Mac)…as well as the perfunctory things which you may do just as easily with a smartphone (and it’s much smaller screen…).

All in all, I can see that these statistics are both pretty understandable and quite reasonable…

ComScore: the iPad Owns 97 Percent of US Tablet Traffic

As part of its new “device essentials” data product release comScore put out some interesting comparative findings about web traffic patterns from a broad array of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. But among tablets we’re really only talking about the iPad.

According to comScore, the iPad represents “89 percent of tablet traffic across all markets.” In the US the figure is 97 percent. Apple has sold roughly 25 million iPads to date globally, while competitors have seen disappointing sales so far.

In Canada, the iPad drives 33.5 percent of all non-PC traffic, though comScore does not indicate the breakdown of PC vs. non-PC traffic on a global or country basis (except in Brazil where non-PC traffic is on average less than 1 percent of total traffic). In March Performics reported that just over 10 percent of all search impressions its clients were seeing were now coming from mobile devices.

IPads Consume 400% More Wi-Fi Data than Other Mobile Devices


Apple’s iPad accounts for an ever-expanding percentage of the browser market. It’s also becoming a huge Wi-Fi data hog, consuming 400% more Wi-Fi data on a monthly basis than the average iPhone, iPod, or Android device, according to a new report.

Meraki, a cloud services provider, anonymously surveyed more than 100,000 devices accessing public, educational, and general use Wi-Fi networks in the U.S. It analyzed bandwidth usage and operating system popularity between 2010 and 2011 to uncover the massive gap between the Wi-Fi data usage of iPads and other mobile devices.

Consumers Don’t Want Tablets, They Want iPads

A theory: Though consumers desire the iPad for the functions it performs, they want it more for what it is. Just as many preferred the iPod to the generic MP3 player, so too do they prefer the iPad to the generic “tablet.”

Apple is succeeding in the category because it reinvented it. Now anyone that hopes to compete in it must do so by peddling products similar to it. And because of that, Apple will dominate the tablet category in much the same way it dominated the portable music player category.

So there is a tablet market, but it’s been subsumed by the iPad market, just as the MP3 player market was engulfed by the market for the iPod.

Consider this observation from a new Bernstein Research survey: “We find that consumers are not interested in form factors that deviate from the benchmark set by Apple. Few consumers, less than 15 percent prefer the 7″ screen size versus the 10″ screen of the iPad. Over 50 percent of respondents are firmly in favor of the 10″ screen, which leads us to conclude that the 7″ tablet models recently launched, like the BlackBerry PlayBook, are destined for failure. Consumer’s preference for the 10″ form factor explains the lukewarm response to Samsung’s 7″ Galaxy tablet and the rapid introduction of larger screen models in that series.”