How People Actually Use The iPad: Results From Our Exclusive Survey


Photo: AP

We wanted to see how people are using the iPad, and how that use has evolved over the last three years.So we ran a reader survey. We got 2,242 responses which we have gathered here as a series of charts.

This is the third time we’ve run this survey (first here, second here).

Surprisingly, the way people use the iPad hasn’t evolved significantly. The use case for the first iPad remains the same as the new iPad.

What does that mean? Apple nailed the iPad on the first try. It knew what it was doing. It also means developers have an opportunity to develop new applications that can change how and why we use an iPad.

As much as things have stayed the same, there are a few notable trends and changes. We have included comparison charts where appropriate to reflect the usage changes. If we didn’t include the comparison charts it’s because there was no significant variance in this survey as compared to the past.

Which iPad is the most popular? Somewhat surprisingly, the new iPad was the most popular despite being the newest model.

People are starting to have multiple iPads in their homes. 47% of iPad owners own two or more iPads.

Which version of the iPad are people buying? It's pretty evenly split between the wifi version and the wireless version.

Of those people with the wireless version of the iPad, the majority are choosing AT&T. However, Verizon has gained in popularity.

People pick their wireless carrier based on which company provides their mobile phone service.

Those wireless enabled iPads might not be worth the extra bucks. 52% of people aren't subscribed to wireless data plans. That's up from 43.5% when we first did this survey.

Usage of the iPad is increasing. More people said they use it for 2-5 hours a day than in the past.

Bad news for traditional computer makers. The more people play with the iPad, the more they like it, and the more they use it.

This is a great chart because you can see people's attitude toward the iPad shifting. 46.7% of people say it's their primary computer versus 29.1% when we did our initial survey.

What's interesting is that iPad usage habits have changed very little in the last three years.

45.4% of web browsing is done on the iPad. Add in smartphones, and you see that 60% of web surfing is done away from a traditional computer.

People download a lot of applications, which means it's a good platform for developers.

67% of iPad owners have paid for 5 or more apps. This is more great news for developers.

People aren't just downloading apps and forgetting them. People are using a lot of apps on their iPads.

This chart shows an evolution in behaviour. News apps and news readers are declining in popularity. People are reading the news through the web browser.

Continuing on the topic of reading habits, people are reading books on their iPads...

But they are ditching the Kindle app for iBooks. As you can see, when we first did this survey 50% of iPad users were on Kindle. Now 50% are on iBooks. This is probably why Amazon is doing tablets.

Not surprisingly, iPad owners have almost zero interest in rival tablets.

What about a smaller iPad? Do they want that? Nope. We wouldn't read too much into this because people haven't seen a smaller iPad yet. We think when (if?) it comes out people will feel differently.

More on how use of technology is changing ...

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