Majority Of iOS Users Are Not Taking Advantage Of AirPlay, Says Study


Despite AirPlay being the most popular screen-sharing technology, not many iOS users seem to be taking advantage of this screen mirroring feature on their devices, according to a new study from the NPD Group (via AppleInsider). The study, which looked at 2,600 U.S. smartphone and tablet owners during the first quarter of 2013, reveals that only 7% of users had ever used the screen-sharing feature on their devices.

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According to NPD’s “Inception of Screen Sharing” report, almost 40% of respondents were aware of the mirroring functionalities of their devices. 75% of screen-sharing respondents had used their devices to mirror videos, while roughly 50% had mirrored photos. The study also reveals that Apple’s AirPlay technology was the most recognized among respondents, followed by Samsung’s AllShare and Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass. Even AirPlay though, had only 3% of respondents having used it to share content to a television screen.

The report attributes the wide disparity between awareness and actual use to two factors. The first is the relative newness of the technology:

“Screen sharing solutions are somewhat new,” said NPD Director of Devices John Buffone, “many only launched in 2012, so we don’t expect a lot of consumers to be using the technology yet. The awareness number is a positive indicator and will help build the foundation to engage more customers with second screen experiences.”

Likely equally important is the hardware requirement for screen-sharing features. AirPlay requires an Apple TV in order to work, and Samsung’s AllShare requires a Samsung-specific box and mobile device.

The report concludes that in order to bring sharing experiences to a larger consumer base will require simplifying hardware requirements and also increasing the value of being able to share content across screens.


  • 7% really? I’m so in love with the Airplay technology! Simple, (almost) flawless, cheap (AppleTV is 109$ only)… Couldn’t live without it! All my DVDs are mp4 now and streamed from my server to my projector thru the AppleTV all wireless even the speakers with Airport Express – no wire anymore.

  • bradg17

    Fantastic feature. I use airplay for music multiple times a day and airplay for videos/photos at least once a week. I love the idea of not having cables everywhere! 7% is really quite sad.

  • Sevael

    I have absolutely no need for the feature.

    If I want to share photos, I email or text them. I never have people gathered around my HDTV unless they’re there to watch a game or movie. They wouldn’t be interested in photo viewing any more than classroom children want to see their teacher’s vacation slideshow.

    For sharing videos? I don’t keep videos on my phone. If I record a video, I tweet it or text/email it, then it’s gone to clear memory. When I’m out of the house, it’s to work, shop or socialize, so I don’t need movies on the go. And the phone’s memory is filled up with music already, so no space for movies.

    I live in a condo so I can’t blast music at home, so no need for that either. If I’m using headphones, might as well plug them directly into my iPhone and put it in my pocket so I can move around with it.

    And all of the above pretty much applies to everyone I know who is up with technology enough to have a smartphone or tablet.

    So yeah, nice feature on paper, but I don’t know anyone who has any real use for it.

  • AirPlay is awesome for bringing videos from your Mac to the big screen. Apps such as Air Video can stream torrent movie downloads from Mac to the Apple TV, with just one tap.