updated 10:25 pm EDT, Thu April 5, 2012
Simultaneous use prevalent in US market
The majority of smartphone and tablet owners in the US use their mobile device several times a week while watching television, according to survey data published by Nielsen. The trend was shown to be strongest in the US, where 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners reported simultaneous usage at least once in a 30-day period.
Nearly half of American tablet owners use the device at least once a day while watching TV, while more than a quarter of the respondents reported simultaneous use several times a day. Smartphone usage is said to be only slightly lower.
The data, which was collected in the fourth quarter of 2011, suggests device owners in the UK also account for strong simultaneous usage for tablets, and higher overall numbers than the US when tracking smartphone occasional and frequent smartphone usage while watching TV.
Italians and Germans, in contrast, were shown to be the least likely to engage in both activities at the same time.
"The most frequent tablet or smartphone activity across all countries while also watching TV was checking email -- either during a commercial break or during the show," Nielsen wrote in a blog post. "Yet device owners also seem to engage with content related to the TV as well, either by looking up information related to the show or looking for deals and general information on products advertised on TV."