The Implications of A Screen in Every Room

Filed Under: Best Practices, Market Research, Reporting, Tools & Techniques, Focus Groups, Qualitative Research


Bob Relihan

Walt Dickie had done a very nice job of knitting together the trends in the adoption of various electronic devices. Certainly PCs are flattening out and will eventually decline. And, I agree there will be a time when virtually every cell phone is a SmartPhone. Walt also plots a curve that predicts exponential growth in the tablet/e-reader market, but backs off from the implications. “I’ve gone with a growth curve that can’t be right in the long term – it has to flatten out – but might be okay in the short term.”

I am not so sure.

Now, it is likely true that all but a few high flyers and the tech obsessed (as well as those involved in illicit activities) will ever have more than one smart phone. The device, after all, is tied to one’s personal phone number. But, the same constraining logic does not apply to tablets and e-readers, particularly when they merge into one category with vaguely similar features and price points ranging from $79 to over $800.

So, in the next few years, as more and more users acquire new tablets with better features and still have serviceable old ones on hand, it is easy to imagine a home with a first generation Kindle by the beside, an older iPad on the kitchen table for reading the news and checking the weather in the morning, and the latest tablet sitting on the coffee table in front of the television. Will there be a television? Why carry a tablet with you? You can have one wherever you turn.

There was a time when the household was dominated by one large console television in the living room. Over the years conducting focus groups, I have asked in passing, “So, how many TVs do you have?” Seven is no longer an uncommon answer…in a household of two. A future with a tablet in every room is not that far fetched.

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