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Digital Life

Report Sees Tablet Use Soaring, But Not for Banking

Report Sees Tablet Use Soaring, But Not for Banking
April 18, 2012 5:15PM

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The largest shift among tablet owners was seen in browsing and checking e-mail, with 24 percent of those surveyed saying they used a computer less for those activities, while a similar number, 23 percent, said they were reading informational content less on the computer screen. Tablet use is expected to rise 40 percent by 2016.

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The tablet market that Apple created when it introduced the iPad in 2010 will soar by 40 percent in the next four years, and is concentrated mostly on young adults 22-45 making more than $100,000.

Those are some of the findings in a new report by Javelin Strategy & Research released on Wednesday. Even as rivals rush new products to stores, the study found that Apple continues to dominate with a whopping 55 percent market share, while tablets running Google's Android operating system made by a variety of manufacturers hold a 32 percent share.

87 Million to be Served

Looking at U.S. adults who own mobile phones, the study found 13 million also owned tablets last year. Javelin projects that 17 million will own them by the end of this year, which will grow to 87 million by the end of 2016.

Devices running Microsoft's Windows mobile version make up 10 percent of the market, tied with Amazon's Kindle, which runs a modified version of Android. Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook is in use among 9 percent of customers contacted for the survey of 798 people taken in December.

Javelin, which focuses on the financial services industry, also studied how consumers are using tablets, with a particular emphasis on banking, and how tablet use affects computer use.

The largest shift was seen in browsing and checking e-mail, with 24 percent of those surveyed saying they used a computer less for those activities, while a similar number, 23 percent, said they were reading informational content less on the computer screen. Nineteen percent of tablet owners said they were browsing and e-mailing more on computers lately, while 18 percent said they were reading more on computers.

But in somewhat revealing statistics about how users view the function of their devices, half of tablet owners surveyed said they have never done online banking with their tablets. A larger number of non-tablet owners,though, 77 percent, said they never conducted mobile banking.

Twenty-four percent of tablet users said they used them for mobile banking in the last seven days, while 14 percent said they had done so in the last 30 days. The numbers could change, though: Of consumers who did conduct mobile banking in the past 90 days, 29 percent said they own tablets.

Mostly for Down Time

"The issue is where people are using tablets, and most of the time that is on couches and in bed," said technology consultant Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group. "They consume media, watch videos, browse the Web.

"Their financial accounts are something they equate with work. I expect that will change in time as people start using tablets for more stuff they now do from a connected computer."

Relying on information from Apple's iTunes App Store, Javelin determined that consumers rated the mobile app for USAA Bank highest, with an average 4.7 rating out of five possible points, followed by 3.6 for Citibank, 3.5 for JP Morgan Chase and 3 points for BBVAC Compass.

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