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Do tablets offer a ‘post PC wonderland’?

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Interpret (http://www.interpretllc.com/), a cross media research firm, has released “Tablet Computers: Post-PC Wonderland or Utopia?,” a report that examines whether Steve Jobs’ “post-PC era” statement is a marketing ploy or a likely reality.

The report takes an in-depth look at how tablet owners differ from traditional computer owners, both demographically and behaviorally. For example, tablet owners watch nearly two fewer hours of traditional TV per week versus traditional computer owners. Not surprisingly, however, they engage in more digital behaviors, such as watching TV on the Internet, gaming and social networking.

“It’s no secret that tablets are a hot technology, and the growth over the past year alone has been extraordinary,” says Interpret CEO Michael Dowling. “However, tablet owners tend to be much more affluent than the average traditional computer owner, and the crossover between tablet ownership and smartphone ownership is high.”

The report concludes what I’ve said all along: tablets appear to be ancillary items, not yet replacing the computer or phone — rather, just another gadget for consumers to entertain themselves and do some basic work. That said, with the continuing popularity of the iPad, some consumers may eschew the traditional computer for a tablet if they’re primarily concerned with viewing entertainment, reading ebooks/emagazines, etc.

— Dennis Sellers

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