Rebecca Huntley Columnist

Rebecca is a director of The Mind & Mood Report, an author and social commentator with a background in publishing, academia and politics. She holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in Gender Studies.

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That other tablet: why women love their iPad more than men do

Published 17 June 2013 11:39, Updated 20 June 2013 00:45

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That other tablet: why women love their iPad more than men do

Handy ... more portable than a laptop, the tablet allows mums to be online and be with the kids at the same time Photo: Sean Gallup

Women love their tablets. And I’m not referring to a “mother’s little helper” before bedtime.

A global study by Ipsos found that one out of five Australians (18 per cent) say their tablet is their primary computer. But among females, 27 per cent say their tablet is primary versus only 9 per cent of males.

And the love of the tablet skews younger as well as female. Among those under 35, it’s nearly one out of every four of us (24 per cent) who nominate their tablet as their primary computer.

When the tablet (yes, the iPad) first arrived in the Australian market, our qualitative work found that it was mums with primary-school-aged kids that really got how significant the device would be (others viewed it as a super-sized iPhone and that’s it). These women saw how it could become a crucial family resource – for kids to play and learn, for help with recipes in the kitchen, for research in front of the TV, and for taking to bed as an e-reader at night.

More portable and comfortable to use than a laptop, the tablet allowed mums to be online but be with the kids at the same time, they said. A typical comment was: “I have a Samsung [Galaxy tablet]. I run my business off it. I do my emails on it, look at Facebook. I read books on it in bed, if I get the chance.”

After the hurly-burly of the school pick-up, dinner and homework, women talk about finding a corner of the couch, their glass of wine or cup of tea, and their tablet.

And so we have found in research we have done on shopping, media use and a range of other topics, how popular the iPad is for women, particularly the working mother. After the hurly-burly of the school pick-up, dinner and homework, women talk about finding a corner of the couch, their glass of wine or cup of tea and their tablet.

The new ‘me time’

Time with the tablet is the new “me time”, as women browse social media, read those news stories they didn’t have time to concentrate on during the day, shop or browse shopping sites, research and generally wind down. In this way it’s competing with the magazine or the book, as women wind down from their day and contemplate what needs to be done tomorrow.

A tablet and a lie down has a whole new connotation for women now.

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