The Nielsen Company’s first-quarter 2011 report on mobile connected devices found out that almost an equal number of Americans use either tablets or smartphones while watching television. The same study showed that most Americans use eReaders while lying in bed.

Of the 12,000 respondents to the Nielsen survey, 70% said they use their tablets while watching TV. Such usage scenario uses up about 30% of the respondents’ time, according to the survey. Tablets are least used while shopping or running errands (21%), or commuting (20%).

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Situational Usage

About 68% of the respondents also use their smartphones while watching TV. Respondents don’t use smartphones in this manner as often as they use tablets; smartphone owners spend only 20% of their time using their devices while watching TV.

In comparison to tablet use while shopping or commuting, more respondents stated their use of smartphones while carrying out the said tasks. About 59% of the respondents use smartphones while shopping or running errands, and about 47% use smartphones while commuting.

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Time Distribution of Usage

The Nielsen survey also found out that about 3 out of 10 Americans are using their laptop or desktop computers less frequently after purchasing tablets. One out of 4 Americans has either lessened her or his use of netbooks or has completely stopped using netbooks.

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Tablet Impact on Device Usage

About 8 out of 10 tablet users say they use their tablets for tasks that they used to perform using laptops or desktops. Respondents cited the following top 3 reasons for shifting from desktop/laptop use to tablet use: ease in carrying around, ease of interface or operating system, and quick startup or shutdown.

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Reasons for Using Tablet

Yet, tablets still have a lot of market penetration to do, as only 4.8% of U.S. consumers own one as of first quarter of this year, according to Nielsen. Compared to tablets, smartphones still eat the biggest share in the connected devices market, with 36% of the American market owning smartphones.

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Tablet and Smartphone Adoption

And, owing to the relatively larger display screens on tablets, more consumers regularly use tablets for accessing news (63%) and books (45%) compared to smartphone users. Only 48% of survey respondents reported using smartphones to read news, while 9% use smartphones to read books.

Nielsen Q1 2011 Report -- Media Content Access Through Device

As far as smartphones are concerned, a Nielsen report shows that 31% of consumers will prefer Android smartphones in their next phone purchase. And, of those who recently purchased a smartphone (as of March, 2011), 50% of the survey respondents bought ones that run Android. These two developments, according to Android guru Darcy Alexander, make Android “officially” more cool than iOS.

These Nielsen insights will definitely not go unheeded by tablet and smartphone manufacturers, as well as content providers and advertisers. What about you? How do you compare yourself to these statistics as far as your use of your Android tablet or Android phone is concerned?

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