Thursday, March 28, 2013

comScore report claims there are more than 57 million tablet owners, but the numbers may be on the low side

The digital technology analytics company comScore has released their Mobile: Future in Focus report for 2013, and as usual there is a lot to digest in the company's findings. According to comScore, for instance, there are now 125 million smartphone users in the U.S., and 52 million tablet users.

A PDF of the presentation can be downloaded on the comScore website.

One item that will no doubt get plenty of attention is comScore's finding that there are 57.8 tablet owners in the U.S., with Apple having a 45 percent share.

While 57.8 million is an impressive number, showing the incredible growth of the tablet platform in little less than three years, it still did not feel right to me.

Let's do some math: if there are 57.8 million tablets owners in the U.S., and Apple owns 45 percent share, that means there are a bit more than 25 million iPad owners in the U.S.

But last year Apple was forced reveal is sales numbers worldwide, including in the U.S. That showed that through mid-2012 Apple had sold 34 million iPads in the U.S. – and two quarters have passed since then. So, when asked, I have been saying that by the end of 2012 there were about 45 million iPads sold in the U.S.

Ownership and sales are not the same thing, but for comScore's numbers to be right each iPad owner would have to own 1.8 iPads. It's possible – I own two, for example.

So I'm not saying that comScore's numbers are wrong, just that they feel low. But whatever the truth of the situation is, one thing everyone can agree on is that tablets are here to stay, and therefore, so is the tablet publishing platform.