• Media Consumption & Trends

From Smartphones to Tablets – The Changing Landscape

Aksha Kini
Aksha Kini
5 min read
Posted on July 03, 2013
From Smartphones to Tablets – The Changing Landscape

There's a battle outside And it is ragin' It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin.

Bob Dylan, Times are a-changin Its the era of mobile advertising- and its evolving. The battle amongst processing power and mobility has been raging since long now, with PCs and smartphones satisfying one side of the equation only. Then came tablets and spelled the end of the reign of compromise. Heavy content compatible and still truly mobile, tablets revolutionized the way users interact with data. Providing a rich, engaging experience on-the-go, tablets have garnered a significant amount of share in the daily diet of media consumption, becoming the golden goose for advertisers and publishers alike. Although mobile, tablets are NOT smartphones. They differ enormously in the way consumers use them - from experience to expectation. Advertisers need to shift tactics to make the best of the opportunities that are unique to tablets. The following differences aim at helping advertisers plan specifically for tablets:

1) Screen Size and Display Capabilities:

The key feature that separates smartphones and tablets is screen size. On an average, tablets offer upto 4X more real estate than smartphones and this meaty proposition takes advertising to a different level altogether. Also, tablets are incorporated with much faster processors and high resolution display capabilities. All these forces combine to deliver a RICH ad experience that not only engages users on a physical level, but also on an emotional level, to kindle a relationship between the user and the brand.

Figure 1: Smartphone and tablet ad creative and size comparison.


With users more open to consuming media on tablets, tablets outperform smartphones in terms of ad performance.

Figure 2: CTR and Conversion Rate comparison for smartphones and tablets.(1)

Advertisers advantage:

More real estate and better display can be leveraged to serve a mix of HD Banner and Rich Media ads optimized for tablet sizes to provide users with multiple options to engage with the ad that not only generates more clicks, but builds an image that ensures high quality and great user experience.

2) User Profile:

One compelling insight to notice is that tablet users are, on an average, more affluent than smartphone users. Research has shown that 41% of tablet users earn more than $55K p.a. as compared to only 28% of phone users. With ample disposable incomes, these users tend to have an appetite for paid content and are more likely to spend on in-app purchases.


Tablet users are 54% more likely to make a purchase after seeing an ad. Also, tablet downloads generate 2.5X-3X more download revenue than smartphones.

Figure 3: Post click actions of tablet users.(2)

Advertisers advantage:

126 million users worldwide and counting, the exploding tablet user base of high quality and affluent users provides an opportunity to acquire quality users at scale for maximum ROI.

3) Usage Patterns:

A difference in device capabilities and user profile gives rise to behavior patterns which are unique to tablet users.

Lean back consumption:

As mentioned earlier, tablets have become the most preferred device for media consumption. A bulk of this consumption is laid back, high engagement consumption such as gaming and entertainment in places high on comfort such as the couch.

Figure 4: Consumption comparison for Smartphones, Tablets and PCs.

Figure 5: Percentage of total time spent on gaming and entertainment on tablets and Smartphones.(3)

Figure 6: Total time spent on tablets, Smartphones and PCs in a day.(4)

Time of use:

Tablet usage is leading to new shopping occasions in the evening hours facilitating additional opportunity to influence purchase patterns.


Most of consumers media time today is spent in front of a screen computer, smartphone, tablet and TV. The term ‘multiscreen explains the phenomenon of simultaneous usage of two or more screens by a user. This can be of much advantage to advertisers since multiscreen usage enables the integration of marketing efforts across seemingly disparate media to build a deeper relationship with customers. 85% of tablet users engage in multiscreen usage and are already being termed as the preferred second screens to TV than smartphones.


The unique user behavior by place of use and time of day is leading to unique customer purchase patterns across various verticals.


Figure 7: Tablet Usage by time of day

Advertisers advantage:

The unique customer purchase patterns facilitate more precise targeting for best ROI at scale. While still in its infancy, these magical devices have made a stronghold in the world of technology. With the technological paradigm slowly shifting towards tablets, tablet penetration will continue to grow, providing users with an even more realistic and engaging user experience. The time to team up with these devices to deliver an advertising experience like never before is here. (1) http://adfonic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Adfonic-AdSnap-Tablets.pdf . (2),(3),(4),(5) http://onlinepubs.ehclients.com/images/pdf/MMF-OPA_--_Portrait_of_Tablet_User-Wave_2_--_Jun12_(Public).pdf

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