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Tablet vs PC: nearly 1 in 2 Australians now have both computers—so which is used for what?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014. Sample = 7,032 Australians 14+ with both a personal computer and tablet in household

9.3m Australians 14+ (48%) now have a tablet computer in the household—but just about all tablet owners (99.7%) also have a personal computer, on top of either a desk or lap. So with two home computing options available, what online activities are we doing on which? 

The latest data from Roy Morgan Research for the year to June 2014 shows that the personal computer remains the hub of household online activity. Among people with (theoretical) access to both a desktop/laptop and a tablet, more say they have used a personal computer than used a tablet to conduct all internet activities in the last four weeks.

Email remains the number one online activity on both types of computer. 68% of people with both types in the household say they emailed via personal computer in average four week period, while 34% say they used a tablet. General internet browsing is the second most common activity on both devices, with 48% of people using a personal computer and 29% using a tablet.

Social networking, however, is the third most common activity people say they do on tablets (23%) but comes behind banking transactions, checking account balances and paying bills on PCs.  

Reading newspapers is the 10th most common tablet activity. 12% of tablet owners now read newspapers on a tablet in an average four week period. Still, 17% read newspapers on the personal computer, putting the activity well outside the PC top ten.

% people with both devices using either for online activity in an average four week period

ACTIVITIES VIA COMPUTER

 

ACTIVITIES VIA TABLET

Email

68%

1

Email

34%

General browsing/surfing

48%

2

General browsing/surfing

29%

Banking transactions

45%

3

Social networking

23%

Checking bank account balances

42%

4

Streaming video

17%

Paying bills online

41%

5

Checking weather

16%

Social networking

36%

6

Checking bank account balances

14%

Viewing bank statements

33%

7

Researching a product or service to buy

14%

Researching a product or service to buy

30%

8

Banking transactions

14%

Streaming video

28%

9

Getting maps or directions

14%

Getting maps or directions

27%

10

Reading newspapers

12%

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014. Sample = 7,032 Australians 14+ with both a personal computer and tablet in household

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“We are fast approaching the moment when the majority of Australians live in a household with both a tablet computer and a laptop or desktop computer—and to top it off, over 3 in 4 of these people also have a smartphone!

“Aside from giving a guide as to what form of computer people prefer for different tasks, the fact that fewer people in dual-access households use a tablet than a PC for all activities also suggests that tablets are, like smartphones, considered more of a personal rather than shared device. That is, Dad may well live in a household with one or more tablets—but does he even know the unlock passcode?

“Although the personal computer remains the more commonly used device for all internet activities, any business with an online presence—especially media companies concerned with achieving maximum reach—will need to keep a close eye on our changing device preferences.   

“With 1 in 8 Australians now reading newspapers on a tablet in an average four week period, newspaper publishers will need to ensure that they produce content, such as streaming video, interactive infographics and photo galleries, that appeals directly to tablet owners.”   

For comments or more information please contact:

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5116
Tim.Martin@roymorgan.com

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

Related Research

View our ready-made profiles on People in Households with Different Computer Devices.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

 

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2