With more consumers owning smartphones and tablets that can
be used for a wide array of things, a new study from the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA) has found that these mobile devices are increasingly
impacting the usage of standalone devices, such as digital cameras and laptops.
In households that own laptops, 43% of smartphone owners and
46% of tablet owners told CEA researchers that they were spending less time
with their laptops.
The report stressed, however, that very few users were
abandoning them: only 1% of smartphone owners and 2% of tablet owners stop
using their laptop.
The report also found that "smartphones have become the
primary device for taking pictures (78%), recording videos (74%), getting
directions (69%), reading e-books (62%), listening to music (59%) and playing
In contrast, laptops and desktops remain the primary device
smartphone and tablet owners use to watch video, browse the Internet, shop
online and view or edit documents, the CEA says.
The data is important for app developers because it
highlights the growing importance of mobile devices but indicates that
computers remain a popular way to view video.
Recently, the CEA released the 15th Annual CE Ownership and
Market Potential Study, which found the household penetration rate of tablets
is up 17% year over year to 39%, while the household penetration rate of
smartphones is up 12% to 58%.
The research also indicated that a number of devices were
falling out of consumer favor as a result of the growing penetration of
smartphones and tablets in American phones. The CEA found that camcorders,
portable audio/MP3 players, portable game devices, GPS or navigation devices
and dedicated e-readers were among the standalone devices that smartphone and
tablet owners were likely to stop using.
"Smartphones and tablets have enriched, diversified and
transformed the ecosystem of consumer electronics," said Rhonda Daniel, senior
manager, market research, CEA. "As a result, mobile device owners are
re-proportioning the time they spend using other standalone CE devices. While
many single-function devices continue to play a distinct and relevant role in
our digital lives, consumers are gravitating toward connected mobile devices
able to perform multiple functions."
The report also highlighted the fact that consumers use
smartphones differently than tablets.
Among tablet owners, 92% frequently browse the Web, 83%
check emails, 78% play games, 66% watch video and 61% read e-books.
Smartphones, meanwhile, are frequently being used to take
pictures (92%), make voice calls (91%), check email (89%), browse the web (85%)
and navigate (76%).
The report, "A Tale of Two Techs - Smartphone
and Tablet Adoption and Usage" was conducted between Jan. 16 and 25, 2013.