Apple AirPlay leads screen sharing technology usage among small number who use it

Screen mirroring technologies, which gives consumers the ability to wirelessly project content from smartphones, PCs or tablets directly to a television, have already captured the attention of a large percentage of tablet and smartphone owners.

According to the Connected Intelligence Inception of Screen Sharing report from global information company The NPD Group, 40 percent of smartphone and tablet owners are aware of screen mirroring capabilities. Awareness is strongest among men and 18-34 year olds. Screen sharing technology usage, however, is significantly lower than awareness at just 7 percent of tablet and smartphone owners.

“Screen sharing solutions are somewhat new, many only launched in 2012, so we don’t expect a lot of consumers to be using the technology yet,” said John Buffone, director of devices, at NPD, in the press release. “The awareness number is a positive indicator and will help build the foundation to engage more consumers with second screen experiences.”

Apple AirPlay, Samsung AllShare, and Xbox SmartGlass lead in awareness among tablet and smartphone owners. Apple is clearly the front-runner for consumer mind share, yet only 3 percent of tablet and smartphone owners cite using the AirPlay technology for mirroring their mobile device screen onto their TV.

NPD Screen Sharing Awareness

Source: The NPD Group, Inc / Connected Intelligence / The Inception of Screen Sharing

Of the 7 percent of tablet and smartphone owners using screen mirroring to project to their TVs, most of the sharing was photos and videos. Seventy-five percent of tablet and smartphone owners shared videos from their mobile devices to the TV, and a little more than half used it to project pictures.

NPD: Screen Sharing activities

Source: The NPD Group, Inc / Connected Intelligence / The Inception of Screen Sharing

“Breaking into the mass-market is often a challenge with a new technology,” said Buffone. “Currently, several of the screen mirroring applications such as AirPlay and AllShare require specific devices to operate. Bringing screen sharing experiences to a larger consumer base will require simplifying hardware requirements as well as amplifying the value of being able to share content across screens.”

More than 2,600 U.S. smartphone and tablet owners were surveyed in Q1 2013 for this report.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve personally sold many Apple TV units simply by mirroring what’s on our iPads to big screen HDTVs.


  1. I use airplay to watch movies. TV. Iplayer etc. nolonger pay for the BBC licence fee. That paid for are Apple TV itself. Nolonger miss live tv. No need for it !!!

  2. We use it extensively at work and I use it at home.

    At work it is used to present and collaborate, the Apple TV’s are connected to projectors, which project on whiteboards/smartboards. Moving forward we are replacing the costly projector/smartboard functionality with 55″+ LED TV’s. The best of the smart functionality can be replaced with the iPad and at $200-400 a bulb, projectors cost too much to maintain. a 55 inch TV can be sourced in the $500-800 range and works well.

    At home I use it for movies and web videos mainly. Some slideshow action for special events.

    1. We used Airplay to mirror iPads and Mac laptops for a tech conference this weekend. Nothing fancy, just an AppleTV hooked up to our data projector. The flexibility to switch between different devices on the fly was much appreciated and facilitated discussion. We kept a cable handy for non-qualified devices but I think everyone saw a demonstration of how convenient Airplay is.

      1. The leapmotion is neat, but I fail to see how it relates to smart boards.

        We used smart boards for interaction, drawing, annotating. All of this can now be done with iPads without walking to the board. Efficiency gained..

  3. Airplay on my iPad/iPhone works nicely.
    Airplay on my MacBook Pro is good.
    AirParrot on my MacBook Pro is more gooder.

    (hate me, not my english. Oops check that, reverse that)

  4. I have media on my Macbookpro, which I play on my iPad mini with Plex and then AirPlay it on our big screen TV and it works flawlessly! Such a great tech, it made us part of the Zero TV crowd when we gave DirecTV the boot!

  5. I use AirPlay with EyeTV. I can now *instantly* watch recorded shows on my HDTV with perfect lossless fidelity—no tedious and image degrading transcoding step required! I can even use it for live TV, providing EyeTV’s advantage of being able to pause live TV, etc.

    AirPlay, Mountain Lion, a Bluetooth keyboard, and Apple TV make it all work.

  6. Has anyone successfully streamed audio from older Macs running 10.6.8? Just interested in streaming audio to different rooms via the intranet. Or does Sonos remain the wireless audio system to beat?

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