Bit.ly, a popular URL shortening service, has analyzed web usage data of the millions links flowing on a daily basis through its network. Their findings (via ReadWriteWeb) confirm what many of us iPad owners have known all along, that we use our beloved gizmo mostly during evenings, when we get home from work. Normal usage patterns for smartphones and computers (also corroborated by 9to5Mac’s logs) involve two big spikes, in early morning and mid-morning. This reflects a typical usage pattern for the vast majority of employed: We grab our smartphone when we wake up to catch up on the latest news, email and weather.

Then, upon arriving to our workplace, most people drill through their reading list and consume news articles that matter to them before hitting the water cooler. When we get home, however, the tablet comes to the rescue. Who wants to sit hunched in their chair for another 2-3 hour browser session when they can lay back and relax with a tablet in their hand? As expected, peek usage times for iPad are between 8pm and bed time:

Usage dips after breakfast, remains low during traditional working hours and does not peak until much later in the evening. During the weekends iPad usage between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. is higher than it is during the week at those same hours. No other device sees a heavy increase of use during the weekends, showing that the iPad is used as an entertainment device and differs from both smartphones and browsers

Another interesting observation: The study counts iPad numbers from 203 different countries, a far cry from the 39 countries worldwide where iPad is officially available. The analysis is based on clicks on short URLs from Windows, OS X and Linux desktops plus iPad and iOS Android and BlackBerry smartphones.

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