Apple’s iPad has pioneered the field of tablets and exceeded expectations of user satisfaction, according to an internationally recognized authority on media tablets and e-readers.

Roger Fidler, program director for digital publishing at Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, found that iPad owners report higher rates of satisfaction the longer they use the tablet, which is very unusual, especially for computers and other electronics.

“It’s unusual for new technology devices,” Fidler said. “In most cases, satisfaction tends to drop off significantly after about 13 weeks. That clearly is not the trend with the iPad.”

In his first study last fall, Fidler found that 94 percent of the 1,600 surveyed were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their iPad.

Fidler’s follow up study this spring found that nearly 70 percent of the 561 respondents were more satisfied than they were last fall.

Fidler has been conducting surveys of iPad users since last fall to understand how the tablet is used in daily life and how it may influence journalism and news consumption in the future.

“While the iPad is designed for consuming all kinds of media, it has become clear that leisure reading of news and features is very popular with owners,” Fidler said. “The iPad’s ultra-thin, lightweight nearly magazine-size screen is more conducive for reading than laptop computers and other mobile devices. The screen size seems to be one of the main reasons for its sustained user satisfaction.”

The majority of iPad owners use their tablet at home throughout the evening from their couch or easy chair, according to Fidler’s study. The complete results can be found online.

Fidler’s next step is a study this summer to gauge satisfaction with all tablets on the market. The results will be available in the fall.

About The Author

Brittney McNamara is a Blast Junior Editor

One Response

  1. Magazine Publishing

    One of the more significant phrases in this story, as far as magazine readers are concerned, is that of the “NEARLY magazine-size screen” [caps mine]. Until tablets offer a larger platform for a true magazine reading experience (and probably in hi-def), I seriously doubt digital magazines will catch on to any great extent. I realize the form factor (size) presents a portability issue, but that doesn’t mean end users wouldn’t prefer a larger screen, if designed and implemented intelligently. I actually far prefer print mags over digital myself, but any sustainable effort to drive consumers to adopt the tablet format would be wise to take into account what readers actually want. There’s a reason magazines aren’t book-sized — the pleasure of the printed magazine requires ample space and room to breathe. And as is, tablets just don’t have it.


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