How 3 Mobile Gadgets are Transforming our Lives: New Research

It was 25 years ago and if you wanted to make a phone call you had to do like Clark Kent’s Superman and head for the nearest phone booth and not ‘change’ into leotards and wear your undies outside of your pants but fumble for coins (if you had them) and make that urgent business call. The next challenge was often to find one that hadn’t been vandalized.

Telecommunication companies are removing them and placing them in warehouses ready for recycling or they are sold at auctions for collectors to restore and revive.

The old style phone booths are often displayed as antique pieces in the corner of bars or designer stores as memento and memorial of a bygone era.

The Computer in Your Pocket

How times have changed.. the mobile phone is now your computer in your pocket, your road map to your latest appointment or your movie channel for watching the latest video online. No longer do you have to wait to get home to find out the latest scores you can Google them and even watch the highlights. Contacting your friends is now a choice of do I, SMS, call or Facebook them? Waking up in the morning is quite often not an exercise in turning on the kettle but but logging into Facebook while your head is still on the pillow to check out the latest news from far flung friends and family or polish your ego by quantifying how many new friend requests you have received in the last 8 hours.

The Authors Dilemma

Your books now arrive via ‘bits and bytes’ rather than UPS and if they don’t arive in 2 minutes you start to get worried about the strength of the wireless link or even if you are connected to the world wide web. Publishers and authors are now wondering if they should sell a Kindle version of the book or not, or run with the hardcover release first. Pens must be concerned about their shelf life as iPads are replacing notepads in board rooms and coffee shops. Libraries are desperately trying to work out new business models as people no longer trawl the aisles but stay away in increasing numbers to find their information online while they ride the bus.

So what does the latest research from Nielsen reveal after speaking to 12,000 mobile connected device owners about what we are doing with the 3 mobile gadgets that are changing habits, keeping our eyes ever averted downwards and transforming the way we consume and share information and content

The Tablet

Is the tablet a fad or a revolution? At this stage it is looking like the latter despite critics promoting it as a passing distraction such as Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer (Microsoft don’t make one at the moment so maybe he just has iPad envy) . So where and why are we using iPads?

  • 70% of people use them while in front of the TV
  • 57% while in bed
  • 44% of people use them with friends and family
  • 42% use them while waiting for something
  • 25% in the bathroom
  • 24% use them in the meetings or classroom
  • 21% while shopping and running errands
  • 20% when commuting

The question for marketers here is “How can I engage with the tablet user while they are watching TV and simultaneously on the iPad?”

How 3 Mobile Gadgets are Changing our Lives Nielsen Research 2011

The eReader

The eReader market is growing at 300% year on year when you compare the first 3 months of 2010 to February, 2011. So where are people using the Kindle and its competitors such as the  Noble and Barnes ‘Nook’

  • 35% of people use them while in front of the TV (compared to 70% on the tablets)
  • 61% while in bed
  • 17% of people use them with friends and family
  • 32% use them while waiting for something
  • 17% in the bathroom
  • 10% use them in the meetings or classroom
  • 9% while shopping and running errands
  • 11% when commuting

The eReader is certainly the king of the bedroom and the only question to ask is will the market over time sustain 2 devices (the tablet makes it into the bedroom 57% of the time)  for reading as the price of tablets surely will reduce reduce significantly over time.

The Smartphone

The smartphone that is connected to the internet and provides a multimedia mobile device anywhere and at any time is impacting our lives maybe more than any other man made object in history… (well apart from the car, the printing press and the television)

  • 68% of people use them while in front of the TV (compared to 70% on the tablets)
  • 51% while in bed
  • 58% of people use them with friends and family
  • 59% use them while waiting for something
  • 28% in the bathroom
  • 23% use them in the meetings or classroom
  • 59% while shopping and running errands
  • 47% when commuting

What is obvious is that the smartphone is our most pervasive mobile gadget but what is also evident is that the eReader is a bedroom favourite and the new phrase that may be heard between partners could be “Not tonight darling I’m Kindling

More reading

Image by victorjol

Comments

  • Robert Wise

    very interesting but, the “other” categories  is very high. What is other?

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the question Robert. The ‘other’ is not broken up at all by Nielsen in the research source, but would include what doesn’t fit in the other categories and and are not large enough in results to measure individually.

  • http://www.vancouvergadgets.ca Vancouver Gadgets

    “Libraries are desperately trying to work out new business models.”

    I’m not sure I completely agree with this statement since libraries are city, regional and educational institutions and are generally non-profit and funded by taxpayer dollars. From what I’ve seen libraries have generally done an excellent job of providing Internet and WIFI services along with traditional media. If the demand for traditional media wanes libraries will simply stop purchasing those things and the budget will shift towards purchasing more e-devices.

    I believe however that bookstores, camera stores (if there are any left) and the like may be trying to find new business models though.