News research from Eircom under the eircom Household Sentiment Survey(eHSS) shows an absolute trend in terms of smartphones and tablets.

They estimate that the penetration of Smartphones is currently at 50% of the population, which is slightly at odds with the figures released by ComReg in March. They estimate that there are roughly about 2.3m smartphones connected in ireland, whereas the eHSS have this figure at 1.6 million. The differences could be the base of the population in the eHSS survey (+15?) and that the Com Reg figure is included in part with some tablets with 3G capability. 

But the real story I the survey I think is that meteoric rise in tablet penetration. They estimate that, by the end of this year, there will be 1.2m people in the Republic with access to a tablet. That’s a phenomenal number given that the iPad (the pre-cursor to all tablets) was only launched Q3 2010.

The survey also points out that the average household has now four separate devices to access the internet. It makes life a little difficult for publishers having to ensure that their product appears attractively on each device.

The graphic below was shown recently at a Press Gazette conference. It shows the various digital routes used to access the Guardian broken into day-parts alongside a tracking of the print product usage throughout the day (that tracking wasn’t explained).

guardian day parts
The data for that graphic was taken from late 2012 and I’d say that it has shifted somewhat in favour of tables and the mobile guardian (non app).

In my opinion, tablets are really the last roll of the dice, digitally, for many news organisations. With penetration levels of 1.2m tablets in this country by the end of this year it’s a clear signal that the tablet/smartphone mix is really the only avenue forward.