More tablet owners are getting cellular data plans so that they can connect everywhere, with the wealthy more likely to purchase a new cellular tablet. In 2014 consumers purchased plans for nearly 16 million tablets, up 95 percent over last year, said the Connected Home Report, published quarterly by NPD Connected Intelligence.
Tablets are becoming more and more ubiquitous, with 116 million in use in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2014.
There’s a marked demographic difference between the average tablet user and those that choose cellular data plans, allowing them to break free of the restrictions of Wi-Fi and choose a 4G LTE plan instead. Cellular tablet users have an average household income of $105,000, while Wi-Fi tablet owners have average salaries of $88,000.
Income was the single most prominent difference between the two groups, the report said.
It isn’t a surprise that people with more money choose newer models, but this data shows that cellular-embedded tablets still have a way to go before they can be truly considered a mass market product.
“While 2014 marked the year consumers activated cellular enabled tablets, 2015 must become the year this technology reaches a broader demographic audience,” said John Buffone, executive director of Connected Intelligence. “Access to Wi-Fi at home and work is the primary barrier to adoption, so messaging from carriers must emphasize on-the-go activities. In particular, navigation, email, and posting photos and videos are the primary activities used more frequently when consumers connect their tablet to a data plan.”
Companies have been trying to decrease the cost of cellular tablets for years. Currently, Apple iPads cost about $130 more with cellular than without.