Smartphone vs Tablet – Which Do Consumers Prefer and Why?

The smartphone and tablet war is on and it’s a war that looks set to rage for a long time to come. But which is better? In the words of a famous bespectacled entertainer, there’s only one way to find out!

You only have to switch on the TV or open a magazine to see the latest offering from Apple, Samsung or more recently Google.

Smartphones have dominated the scene for quite some time both at home and in the workplace. Then the tablet came along and turned everything on its head. Bigger than the smartphone, the tablet offers more screen, more processing power and a better gaming and application experience.

But how does usage break down and can we really answer the question about which is better?

We took a look at some statistics currently released by consumer website Flurry. The average age of the smartphone user is 30 which tablet users average out at 34.

Slightly more men than women use smartphones but that figure is generally the same for tablets too. Historically, more men than woman have adopted technical devices early on, but this gap is starting to close.

Applications and attractive device design has meant that smartphones and tablets have gained more of a mass market appeal.
When it comes to daily use, table and smartphone activity increases as the day goes on.

However, tablets seem to be used more in the evenings for viewing TV programmes or catching up on the latest newspaper articles. Tablet users typically spend more time using their devices for media and entertainment than they do for anything else.

Smartphone users tend to use their device for on the move activities such as texting, listening to music, making calls and browsing the Internet. Of course, social media is also used heavily on smartphones and accounted for 50% of mobile phone usage.

Games, entertainment, and news apps are among the most popular for tablet users. Smartphones account for a greater number of apps devoted to communication and other tasks. Social networking, utility, health & fitness, and lifestyle apps grab about half the usage on smartphones.

Games were by far the most popular type of mobile app on both smartphone and tablet capturing 67% of the time spent on tablets and 39% of time on smartphones.

People tended to use their smartphones for apps for shorter times (on the morning commute, in their lunch break etc.) whilst gaming on the tablet seemed to be more popular in the evenings when there was more time to spare.

It seems also that many people have a smartphone and a tablet and that the two cannot be reliably compared because they are used for different tasks during the day. Personally, we think that smartphones may just pip tablets to the post due to their versatility on the move and their compact size.

What do you think? Are you smitten with your smartphone or taken with your tablet?


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