Tablet, the most compact personal computer, is becoming increasingly popular across the world. According to the survey, out of 2,055 British tablet owners aged 18 to 24, about 56 percent use them to read news, Russian Internet periodical media-media.ru quotes The Guardian. It is remarkable that there are even more such people, 60 percent, among those aged 25 to 34. The further statistics is even more impressive: the overall number of people who own tablets in Great Britain is equal to 12 million.
And this number grew significantly during winter holidays not only in Great Britain, but in the whole world as well.
Internet is full of headlines like “Tablet is the Best New Year Gift.” At the end of last year, tablets became 2 percent more popular than smartphones: 51 percent of mobile devices activated on the day of Catholic Christmas were iPad, Kindle, Surface, and other tablets, while smartphones received remaining 49 percent, journalists of Facts. ICTV website quote Flurry Analytics.
And what situation do we have in Ukraine? Last year, Ukrainians’ interest in tablets first equaled to that in laptops, and then outstripped it. According to Yandex.Market data provided by portal finance.ua, in January 2011, less than two percent of Ukrainian users searched for tablets on the web, while about nine percent looked for laptops. In July, interest in tablets reached the level of interest in laptops, and now it is only growing.
A great number of letters from children with a request to gift them a tablet or an iPhone was sent to Father Frost’s residence in Bucha, Kyiv oblast, says the newspaper Segodnia.
However, Ukrainians aged 15 to 29, the most active Internet users, are the most interested in new gadgets as well. As we can see, this is approximately the same age group as the one in Great Britain, which reads news on tablets.
Less than six months ago, a third of Ukrainians did not have personal computers, says the conclusion of a research conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab. But even back then, four percent of Ukrainian families owned a full set of gadgets: a stationary PC, smartphone, tablet, and laptop, Ukrbiznes portal quotes a Kaspersky Lab expert.
Looking at the given data, one can get an impression that soon young Ukrainians will catch up with their European peers in their liking for tablets, and so, traditional mass media will either quickly respond to the new market demands by creating special versions for mobile devices or lose a significant part of their audience.
“I read 80 percent of news on a tablet. It is fast and convenient, I can look for information in a couple of sources simultaneously instead of digging through a pile of paper. It is obvious that I cannot do without printed newspapers yet, so I read some magazines too. In Europe, content of printed periodicals and their Internet versions is different. Most newspapers have two separate editorial staffs. In Ukraine, there is no drastic difference yet, so why not read off the screen?” says Daria LYTVYNOVA, a 20-year-old student from Kyiv.
On the other hand, Oleksii POHORIELOV, CEO of the Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers, does not view tablets as a threat to publishing business. “This statistics bears no dangers for us. I think that we need to treat the ongoing processes as development. As once cinematography, television, mobile communication appeared, so did tablets now, and they give an opportunity to receive information in a fast and convenient way. It is not easy to work in the new conditions. Journalists and publishers have two or even three times bigger workloads than they had a few years ago. There is no stable model of a tablet version of periodical representation which would lead to instant success. We need to experiment, work more, and look for our own niche. Every type of media has its own unique audience, and they need to be studied well enough to predict which of my readers will buy a tablet version and what makes them different from people who buy printed version. These are two different audiences with different demands. However, one more approach could also be effective: think about what should tablet and printed versions be like for a reader to want to buy both.”