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Smartphone and tablet owners multitask while watching TV, survey finds

October 13, 2011 |  6:48 pm

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Apparently, even TV won't keep people from their smartphones and tablet computers, a new study found.

According to a Nielsen Co. survey, about 40% of smartphone and tablet owners in the U.S. multitask on the devices daily while watching TV, compared with only 14% of people with e-readers like the Kindle or Nook (no book, it seems, is more interesting than the tube).

About two-thirds of both male and female respondents admitted to checking email, the most common activity occupying people's time besides the TV. 

But much of the other attention devoted to hand-held devices broke down along gender lines: almost half the women browsed social networking sites during programming and commercial breaks, while only about a third of men did. However, 44% of gents checked sports, compared with only 17% of women.

Finally, tablet owners are marginally more engrossed in their devices than smartphones owners. About 42% of people with tablets confessed to simultaneously using it while watching the TV on a daily basis; 40% of smartphones users admitted to doing the same.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: A man holds two Samsung smartphones next to an Apple iPhone 4, center. Credit: Michael Kooren / Reuters

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