Analytics company Flurry detailed the difference in usage patterns between tablet and smartphone app users, noting that tablet users spend significantly longer playing games than their tablet counterparts, and with social networking the second biggest category for both form factors.

The company said that “at a high level, consumers spend more time using tablets for media and entertainment, including Games (67 percent), Entertainment (9 percent) and News (2 percent) categories which account for nearly four-fifths of consumption on tablets”.

In contrast, smartphones “claim a higher proportion of communication and task-oriented activities with Social Networking (24 percent), Utilities (17 percent), Health & Fitness (3 percent) and Lifestyle (3 percent) commanding nearly half of all usage on smartphones”.

While smartphones are used more frequently for apps – 12.9 sessions per week, compared with 9.5 for tablets – tablet app sessions are longer, at 8.2 minutes rather than 4.1 minutes.

Flurry also found that smartphones dominate daily usage until early evening, at which point they are overtaken by tablets for the “prime time television window”. This suggests that tablets are “more often used alongside, or instead of television viewing than smartphones”.

And there are some differences in terms of user profile. Tablets have a more even gender split (49 percent female, 51 percent male) than smartphones (44 percent/56 percent). Smartphone users also tend to be younger than tablet users, at 30 versus 34 years of age – although tablets outscore smartphones in the 13 to 17 age range.

The company summarised: “Tablet users are older, more female, and we can surmise, more affluent. Additionally, they use more during the evenings and for longer sessions. Finally they consume more media and entertainment experiences, with a significant proportion spent on games.”