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Global trends in tablet and smartphone use while watching TV

Whether to check email or to look up program or product information, watching TV while using a tablet or smartphone is more common than not according to a Q4 2011 Nielsen survey of connected device owners in the U.S. , U.K., Germany and Italy. In the U.S., 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners said they used their device while watching TV at least once during a 30-day period. For 45 percent of tablet tapping Americans, using their device while watching TV was a daily event, with 26 percent noting simultaneous TV and tablet use several times a day. U.S. smartphone owners showed similar dual usage of TV with their phones, with 41 percent saying their use their phone at least once a day while tuned in.

Device owners in the U.K. also logged heavy usage for tablets (80%) and smartphones (78%) while watching TV. British daily usage of smartphones or tablets while watching TV rivaled that of the U.S.. Nearly a quarter (24%) of those surveyed claiming to use their device several times a day while watching TV.

Italians and Germans were the least likely to use a device while watching TV. In both countries, 29 percent of users said they never use a tablet and TV together and 34 of Italians and 35 percent of Germans said they don’t use their smartphone while watching TV.

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