updated 11:25 am EST, Fri February 17, 2012
NPD points to iPad owners being wealthier, older
iPad owners are increasingly more likely to be wealthier and older than their counterparts, the NPD Group uncovered on Friday. Over 40 percent of iPad owners have a combined household income of over $100,000 a year where just 26 percent of those with Android and PlayBook tablets can claim the same. These more comfortable homes were more likely to have tablets as a whole.
The demographics were shifting, researchers said. Those who bought only near the end of 2011 were 50 percent more likely to be making just $45,000 or less. A large portion of those were probably unmarried as ownership was 33 percent higher for those younger than 34. It's implied that some of these may have been the ones buying the Kindle Fire given its $199 price.
Audience shifts were partly visible through the split in usage habits for those using their tablets exclusively for certain tasks. While e-mail, the web, and other tasks all saw more people going tablet-exclusive between February and the end of 2011, gaming saw one of the biggest jumps as gaming went from about 21 percent of owners to 28 percent.
Tablets weren't quite at the point where there was mass defection from notebooks. They were having at least some effect, with 10 percent skipping a notebook, but research showed that notebooks were still the most popular among fence-sitters, with 26 percent planning to buy one versus 18 percent looking at a tablet instead. Industry analysis VP Stephen Baker believed buyers were "conservative" and decided they would rather have an "array of products" to make sure their uses were covered.