How Does a Consumer Decide Which Tablet to Buy?

With dozens of tablets now on the market from a wide array of competing companies, there are more factors than ever involved in the purchase decision of one such device.

ComScore this week launched TabLens, which provides new insights into North American tablet ownership and usage. Based on a three-month rolling sample of 6,000 tablet owners, the research firm uncovered a gold mine of statistics and facts—including what consumers consider when deciding which device to acquire.

According to TabLens, the two most important factors of a tablet are its price tag and its selection of apps (both scored 7.7 out of 10). In a close second are another two factors: operating system and brand name of hardware (both scored 7.5).

As would be expected, iPad owners placed extra emphasis on app selection and brand name when choosing their device, while not surprisingly Kindle Fire owners placed the most weight on their tablet’s price (the fire is just $199 in the US).

In a more interesting twist, though, it turns out a lot of consumers don’t care if their tablet and smartphone software platforms are the same. Indeed, factor didn’t even make the top five consideration factors for tablet purchasing. ComScore notes this finding may give Microsoft a chance with its forthcoming Surface tablet, although some analysts disagree.

ComScore also found that Apple’s device still reigns king in consumer satisfaction, scoring 8.8 out of 10, higher than all Android tablets.