Pocket Study Shows The iPad Losing Screen Time to iPhone 6

Are the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reducing iPad usage? If data released by Pocket is any indication, it seems so. Pocket’s data shows that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users choose to read on their phones over their iPads significantly more than iPhone 5s owners.

iPhone 5s owners who also own iPads opt to read on the iPad over the iPhone 45 percent of the time. For iPhone 6 owners, that percentage drops to 28 percent, and it drops to 20 percent for iPhone 6 Plus owners.

The iPad still has a leg up on bedtime reading, though: Pocket says that Apple’s tablet still rules reading screen-time after 9pm.  Pocket didn’t release any information on how the percentages break down when you take the Mac into account. This data also doesn’t reflect broader usage trends—just what Pocket users are doing.

[Credit: Pocket]
[Credit: Pocket]

The dropoff in iPad sales has been a hot topic of discussion as of late. Personally, I’ve never been a heavy iPad user—my MacBook and iPhone cover the bulk of my computing needs—so I’m not terribly shocked by the apparent shift away from tablets. There are probably a lot of people like me who ran out and bought an iPad, and simply never fully integrated it into their workflow. With that in mind—and the fact that iPad upgrade cycles are likely longer than iPhone upgrade cycles—it shouldn’t be a surprise that iPad sales have dipped.

That doesn’t mean the iPad is going to fade into oblivion—there are plenty of people for whom the iPad is an ideal device—but it does mean that the iPad is still finding its place in the world. These are still the early days of the tablet, and as our Michael McConnell points out, there’s plenty of room for improvement for iOS on iPad.

Does Apple care about the iPad’s backslide? Probably less than you might think. It’s still selling many millions of iPads per year, and if you bought an iPhone 6 over an iPad, well, Apple gets your money either way. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple responds to the sales decline, either through new hardware, revised software, or better marketing.

[Updated 1:52PM PST to add more details.]

Nick spends way too much time in front of a computer, so he figures he may as well write about it. He's previously written for IDG's PCWorld and TechHive.