Data Show Tablets Gaining Importance

Later this afternoon in Los Angeles Microsoft is expected to introduce its own entry into the tablet market, perhaps in conjunction with Barnes & Noble. The event will happen at 3:30 Pacific time. Danny is there (at LA’s Milk Studios) and will be covering it live.

Check out Danny’s live blog of the event in progress. 

The tablet will apparently offer XBox live streaming, according to various reports. Xbox is an enormously popular set-top gaming platform and the angle could work to generate attention and interest for the new tablet.

There is currently no Microsoft-based tablet in the market that has any share. Microsoft will be playing a major game of catch-up to the iPad and to a lesser degree Android tablets. The following slide is from a presentation released this morning on tablet usage by the Online Publisher’s Association (OPA).

Source: OPA June 2012

According to the OPA survey Barnes & Noble’s Nook has an 8 percent share of the market. However ad network Chitika recently reported that its data show B&N’s Nook device overtaking the Kindle Fire. The chart below is indexed to iPads.

Source: Chitika June 2012

According to Chitika the iPad accounts for more than 90 percent of US tablet-related traffic.

The tablet market is now critical for Microsoft because increasingly tablets are being purchased instead of PCs. PC growth is flat, while tablet growth is “skyrocketing.” The OPA survey found that 31 percent of online users said they now owned a tablet — amounting to more than 71 million users in the US today.

Source: OPA June 2012

Many people prefer to use tablets to consume content and conduct activities they previously would have done online.

Source: OPA June 2012

Tablets are used predominantly in the home and often with other media or devices running simultaneously (i.e., TV and smartphones).

In April Microsoft invested $300 million in a new ebook venture from Barnes & Noble. The new effort will sell devices through Barnes & Noble stores, among other outlets. Barnes & Noble’s popular Nook device was built on Android. It’s a safe bet however that the new Microsoft tablet will not be.

Today’s announcement is likely the opening salvo in the Windows 8 cross-platform push. The radically new Microsoft OS is designed to work equally on PCs or tablet devices. Come back at 3:30 Pacific/6:30 Eastern for Danny’s live coverage.

Postscript: Specs have leaked that indicate the tablet will be 7 inches. The product or a potential combination tablet and companion Xbox device are apparently called “Xbox Surface.” According to some newer reports Barnes & Noble will not be a part of the event today.

Postscript 2: Our live blogging of the event is here.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Microsoft | Microsoft: Business Issues | Microsoft: Mobile | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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