As more households continue to adopt tablets, the act of sharing these devices has substantial influence on the purchase-decision process and on future brand selection, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study–Volume 1.

Now in its second year, the study measures tablet owner satisfaction among those who have owned their tablet for one year or less. Satisfaction is measured across five key factors (in order of importance): performance (26%); ease of operation (22%); styling and design (19%); features (17%); and cost (16%).

The study finds that 51 percent of tablet owners share their device with at least one other person. While the incidence differs across brands, tablet manufacturers may benefit from promoting shared usage as a selling point, as satisfaction increases when more people use one tablet device. When a tablet is only used by one person, overall satisfaction is 824 (on a 1,000-point scale), 28 points lower than when a tablet is shared by four or more persons (852).

“It is somewhat unexpected to find that although 64 percent of tablet owners were the sole decision-maker involved in their device purchase, many of them share their tablet with someone else,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. “It is important that manufacturers understand this dynamic and try to provide an exceptional experience for all users since this may improve future business prospects, as high satisfaction through sharing a tablet device may result in owners handing down their tablet to a family member or friend, and the likelihood of repurchasing a new tablet from the same brand and running the same operating system increases.”

In fact, 41 percent of tablet owners who share their device among four or more persons indicate they “definitely will” repurchase their next tablet from their current tablet manufacturer, compared with 28 percent among those who do not share their device with any other person. This shared usage is not limited to adults. Nearly one-half (46%) of tablet owners have children who also use their tablet. Among owners who indicate they share their device with children, 30 percent have downloaded education apps, compared with 16 percent among those who do not share their device with children.

Tablets are also being used for business activities, with 20 percent of owners indicating they use their tablet for this purpose. Owners of tablets that originally evolved from e-readers are not as likely to use their device to engage in business activity. While tablet owners are beginning to engage in business activities with their device, just 31 percent of employers contribute to the price or reimburse their employees for the entire tablet purchase price, a 3-percentage-point decrease from 2012. This may be an indication that some companies may be promoting a “bring your own device” (BYOD) strategy.

For the second consecutive study, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of tablets in overall owner satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 836 and performs well in four factors: performance; ease of operation; styling and design; and features.

J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction StudySM –Volume 1

The 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study–Volume 1 findings are based on experiences evaluated by 1,857 tablet owners. The study was fielded in February 2013.

Source: J.D. Power and Associates

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