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Tablet computers, eReaders have equal market share in Canada, for now


May 17, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

While sales for tablets such as Apple’s iPad – the much talked about device of techies and gadget gurus – have yet to surpass those of eReaders, they are poised to surpass eReader penetration in Canada.

While sales for tablets such as Apple’s iPad – the much talked about device of techies and gadget gurus – have yet to surpass those of eReaders, they are poised to surpass eReader penetration in Canada.

According to Understanding Canadian Tablet/eReader Consumers, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, only 6% of Canadians currently own a tablet, the same percentage as those who own eReaders.

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Launched as a more user-friendly format for viewing multimedia content such as books, magazines, videos and online apps, tablets were expected to take the market by storm; yet after a year on the market, only a small, affluent few have purchased the device.

 Our research shows that there’s definitely an existing demand for tablets among Canadians and substantial growth potential; yet, many Canadians are still biding their time before they make the leap of purchasing the device,” said Darrel Ryce, director of technology and entertainment, The NPD Group. “However, those who have a tablet are very satisfied with the device, which is clearly evident in usage data that indicates half of tablet owners are using the device two to six hours a day.”

The study reveals that while eReader ownership numbers currently remain comparable to those of tablets, their growth potential is significantly more limited than that of tablets. Owners of eReaders tend to belong to a significantly older demographic and are less preoccupied with Wi-Fi connectivity. They also tend to use the device much less than their tablet-owner counterparts with 27% using the device less than one hour a day and 38% using it a few hours a week.

The study also reveals a future shift in how the device will be used. While only 9% of today’s owners use the device to read newspapers, 30% of intended purchasers will be perusing the pages of Canada’s dailies on the device and 27% will use it to read magazines.

“This is an important development for eReader manufacturers, because it reveals that consumers’ reasons for buying the device is beginning to change; how quickly the manufacturers adapt to that change will determine how successful it will be in the future,” said Ryce.

The study polled 9,577 Canadian adults across Canada in March 2011.


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