Just what are tablets good for anyway? It's a question a lot of people have been asking for well over a year now, essentially since the iPad was first announced and the whole world went tablet-mental.
Now, thanks to a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of content agency Seven, we have some answers. Tablets are web-surfing entertainment devices that are used heavily in the bedroom, kitchen and even the bathroom.
Seven's 'Generation i' survey asked 1,007 iPad owners about their slate usage habits, and found that more than half (53%) had bought the device primarily for entertainment purposes. That's nearly triple the number who claimed to have bought the iPad for more functional reasons.
Interestingly, 63% of those questioned said they wouldn't describe themselves as early adopters, despite the fact that in terms of tablets it's an unavoidable truth.
Apple has painted the iPad as a broad-purpose lifestyle device designed to be used wherever you are around the home, so it will no doubt be pleased to hear that nearly seven out of 10 (69%) of iPad owners use it in the bedroom, 42% in the kitchen and 20% in the bathroom – the modern day equivalent of the rolled up newspaper under the arm, surely?
As for the most popular activities, unsurprisingly accessing the web leads the way, with three out of every people saying they use the iPad for surfing at least every other day. Next up is emailing (63%), followed by gaming (48%), social networking (41%), researching products and services (29%), reading books (25%), listening to music (21%) and shopping (19%).
Rupert Murdoch and Richard Branson take note: the figure for reading magazines is just (13%), though 51% of those who have read interactive magazines on the iPad say they prefer it to traditional print.
So to sum up, a year after the iPad's arrival people are using it pretty much exactly as Apple wants them to. The bigger question from a tablet market perspective is whether this is the only pathway to success for new devices.
Microsoft's approach to tablets, even through the tablet-unfriendly Windows 7, has typically been based on slates being productivity devices. The same can be said to a lesser extent for Android. We'd be very interested to see another survey of non-iPad tablet owners to see just what they're getting up to with their slabs – and just how many use theirs in the loo.