According to the latest tablet research by Google across 11 countries, the one key message was that tablets are essential, not optional.

Other key points:

  • We have four screens in our lives: our smartphone, our TV, our PC, and our tablets – in 2017 tablets will outsell PCs.
  • Currently in Australia 17% have tablets and 14% going to buy in next year. Australia was number 2 in smartphone penetration in 2011, this year number 4 (due to increase tablet market).
  • Australians are early adopters, but tablets are no longer just for the early adopters, 47% are female and mothers (entertain themselves, Facebook, fotos and shop) 38% over 45 years
  • In the past tablets were thought of as luxury item, now they are mainstream, for example 21% of unemployed have tablets and 7% of students.

Why tablets?

  • Costs are decreasing.
  • Get content quickly, easier distribution
  • Apps now a multimillion dollar industry
  • Wifi becoming more available
  • Tablets becoming more and more portable

Key activities shifting to tablets:

  • Mobile driven spend emerging as key area
  • Most searched topic is news and weather (where are we no longer getting that info from?)
  • Shopping is third most searched topic on tablets
  • 81% tablet users reports using it for shopping, 53% make a purchase, of these 72% do so every month; top shopping is clothing, travel and entertainment items
  • Entertainment 4th most searched topic
  • 44% report reading less books, magazines and newspapers
  • 25% report watching less TV
  • 71% play games at least once week
  • 74% pay for content (subscriptions etc)


  • People bringing their personal tablets to work
  • 37% using tablets to work
  • Consumerisation of IT – we have more powerful IT in our homes than in the office
  • “Your smartphone knows you better than anyone else”
  • 43% using tablets for planning/management
  • 35% describe tablets as productive, 45% as efficient, 56% as versatile
  • 30% say tablets starting to replacing their computer

How we use devices:

  • Tablets complement other features, and are a unique channel
  • 81% start an activity on one device and then finish it on another
  • 66% report finishing purchase on desktop, therefore the experiences need to be seamless
  • 64% use tablets with other devices, 40% use tablets while watching TV (is it related or unrelated? 29% are doing a complimentary activity while watching TV)
  • 62% of tablets users share their tablet with someone else (spouse/partner, child)
  • 33% use tablets simultaneously with someone else (watch videos, play games)
  • Tablet usage increases / peaks at night – not only are we multitasking we are “multiscreening” (i.e. using tablet and TV at same time)
  • 95% use tablet at home
  • Tablets are increasingly on the go – 55% use it on the move
  • 32% use at work, 20% in cafe

Device context:

  • Smartphones are our constant companion
  • PCs are for power computing
  • TV is a rich viewing experience (and are getting smarter)
  • Tablets are engaging and versatile

More from Google can be found on the Google Mobile Ads blog.

(These notes are from a talk given today at the ad:tech Unwired conference, Sydney #ATUW)