The Connected Consumer

11/12/2010

Whether you’re watching TV, walking down the street, taking public transportation, sitting on a plane, or relaxing at a local coffee shop, connected devices—and connected consumers—are everywhere. If it’s not a friend or a colleague, it’s a stranger in a public place, an advertisement, or a character on television.

Last week, industry watchdogs got a glimpse into the world of connected devices thanks to Nielsen’s, http://en-us.nielsen.com, Connected Devices Playbook, which surveyed more than 5,000 consumers who own a tablet, ereader, netbook, media player, or smartphone.

The purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the consumers behind the connected-gadget craze—those willing to shell out the cash (and wait hours in line, in some cases) for devices such as iPads, Kindles, and Droids.


Regarding tablet computers, Nielsen found the technology is most favorable to those that identify themselves as “early adopters.” While overall penetration of tablets among respondents reached only 4%, roughly 48% of early adopters own a tablet device.

Tablet owners involved in the study were also more likely than owners of ereaders, netbooks, and portable game players, to own multiple connected devices. These consumers also appear to be generous with their devices; 46% of tablet owners share, compared to 34% of smartphone owners and 33% of those that own ereaders.

To cite some specifics, the Playbook says 65% of Apple, www.apple.com, iPad users are male, and 63% are under the age of 35. A quarter (25%) of study participants that own iPads earn $100k per year, and about half (51%) have at least a bachelors degree.

To compare iPad owners with those that own a Kindle by Amazon, www.amazon.com, 52% are male and 47% are 35-years old or less. Nielsen also says Kindle owners appear slightly wealthier and better educated. Twenty-eight percent make $100k or more, and 57% have earned a bachelors degree or higher.

These numbers provide a deeper insight into today’s connected consumers, but they hardly suggest something the world doesn’t already know.

In the November 2010 issue of Connected World magazine, for instance, reader research indicated nearly three-quarters (74%) use connected devices and/or M2M (machine-to-machine) technology in their everyday lives.

The Connected World research found the devices most consumers said they interacted with on a regular basis include GPS devices (80%), LBS apps via a smartphone (66%), connected home/security (45%), and in-vehicle systems (32%), among others.
For those that had not adopted the technology, cost was an inhibiting factor (39%).

But cost and complexity will not always be a factor that inhibits adoption. As the connected-devices market continues to blossom in the consumer realm, companies will find ways to bring connectivity to the masses for less, and with more ease than ever.




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