Where do early adopters of consumer tech congregate in the U.S.? Not where you might expect, according to a survey appearing in the September issue of Men’s Health, which hits newsstands Tuesday.
Plano, Texas, beat out both San Jose (#2) and San Francisco (#3) as the most tablet- (or at least iPad-) friendly city in the U.S. And despite its high concentration of both Apple and Best Buy stores, New York City landed in the middle of the pack at #42.
Toledo, Ohio, ranked dead last.
To determine the rankings, editors looked at tablet use based on ad impressions from mobile ad network Chitika, the number of Apple and Best Buy stores per capita, and the percentage of households that own tablets, notebooks or laptops according to Mediamark Research.
Why did Plano end up on top? Texas’s ninth-largest city happens to be home to a number of corporate headquarters of prominent technology companies, including Dell Services, Ericsson, HP Enterprise Services, Siemens PLM Sotware and Alliance Data, David Zinczenko, Rodale EVP and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health, points out. (J.C. Penney, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Frito-Lay and Pizza Hut are also headquartered in Plano.)
But iPad adoption isn’t just concentrated in high-tech centers; it also appears to be correlated to education levels, Zinczenko suggests. After all, California has the largest state university system, and many other college towns appear toward the top of the list as well.
“Let’s look at who was in line when the iPad 2 went on sale: affluent, well-educated people who had $800 bucks to throw around in the middle of a deep recession,” he says. “It’s not that [college-educated people are] smarter than the people in Toledo, it’s just that they were fortunate enough to have the dough to attend college. As their educations progressed, their choice of leisure interests migrated toward words, narratives and research-driven pastimes,” all of which the iPad accommodates, he argues.
“But if my car broke down, I’d prefer for it to break down in Toledo; I’d probably be able to find somebody to help me get it started, or help me push it to the service station,” he jokes.