I found this old question:

iPhone/iPad: Do people use landscape mode?

But considering the now venerable age of the ipad I think conventions may be more established now.

So, my question is, what percentage of users use ipads horizontally/vertically?

Are there any statistics about this? (Is it possible for websites to collect that data?)

My instinct suggests that horizontal may have won out- due to most ipad stands/cases being best designed to support a horizontal orientation. Though considering someone holding ipad, portrait strikes me as perhaps the most ergonomic. hmm.

  • 1
    iPads are used for many things. Is there a particular task you're interested in? For instance people streaming movies on them may use them horizontally, but people browsing Amazon may use it vertically.
    – JonW
    Sep 24, 2014 at 12:36
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    As JonW suggests this will vary, a lot, between users and use cases. From my experience I've found that when it comes to tablets Landscape will usually triumph over Portrait if one has to choose. I've been involved in designing the telephony feature for the Sony tablets. Only one orientation was originally in scope due to time constraints, and landscape was therefore the selected one. I have not been presented with any figures to support the decision, it was simply handed down from product lead. They did however have intelligence to suggest that landscape was the dominant orientation. Sep 24, 2014 at 12:51
  • What are you going to do something different based percentage used in a mode? If you support landscape then design for it - be it 1% or 99% use. If you support portrait then design for it - be it 1% or 99% use.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 25, 2014 at 17:54
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    Note that what 'wins out' may not have any actual correlation to people's preferences...it could simply because what 'won out' has more apps that are locked into that view (denying the user the choice in the first place).
    – DA01
    Dec 4, 2015 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


As per this study done by the mobile usage firm Onswipe, the general usage is predominantly landscape. To quote the article

Mobile usage analysis firm Onswipe, as part of a slideshow celebrating its second year of operation, revealed some further analysis of user data from iPads that in some cases reveal interesting habits and in others reinforce facts already known from other end-user studies. According to the analysis drawn from its 127 million users over two years, iPad users prefer landscape to portrait,

The article further states that the type of usage is dependent on the content being consumed

Many games and other apps also prefer to use landscape mode, though web surfing and book reading tend to prefer the vertical orientation. Users have said that due to the keyboard being wider in landscape as well as case stands tending to orient it that way, landscape is also the preferred view for typing.

Interestingly, this informal survey from Brooks says that the portrait orientation is preferred by most users.

I ran a little survey to gather a few data points on iPads and their usage. I tried to make the survey fun enough that users would quickly answer the questions I really wanted to know, without a lot of thought put into them.

Look at this split for the normal orientation that an iPad is used in:

enter image description here

That’s pretty astounding when you think about the fact that PC/Desktop/Laptop manufacturers all but ditched this type of view, thus preferring the widescreen view portal. What’s even more amazing to me is the user preference for the iPad’s orientation:

enter image description here

That said, he makes a very valid point that users will their iPad in the orientation which best suits them and the choice of orientation would be dependent on the application and the use.

Users, by-in-large, use the iPad in whatever way they see fit for the task at hand — not in line with their screen orientation preference.

This interesting article about Portrait or Landscape highlights that only 21% of the top 200 apps in the app store support both orientations (at the time the article were written) and hence the orientation preferred would be the orientation supported by the app. To quote the article

Here’s how the 200 top paid apps look.

enter image description here

Surprisingly, only 21 percent show off their app in both orientations.

Despite the primacy of portrait in Apple’s iPad marketing, the majority of top paid apps use landscape in theirs, at least within the App Store. That’s no guarantee of course that this is how people spend most of their time on their iPads, using these and other apps.

Not all categories are represented equally in top paid apps, which happens to be extremely game heavy. By looking at each App Store category individually, a better picture emerges of the diverse ways that iPads are held and used.

enter image description here

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    Strange, the only thing I do in portrait mode is reading books on my ipad.
    – daniel
    Sep 26, 2014 at 11:02
  • People use whichever orientation works best? Who would have thought?
    – user67695
    Oct 11, 2017 at 16:28

I only ever use landscape no matter what, unless I'm trying to present to someone a photo that's been taken in portrait mode. Most of what I do with the iPad is reading/browsing blogs and newspaper articles and that's mostly in bed, iPad resting on my stomach lying down on my back with a couple pillows under my head.

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    Welcome to the site, @Somedude. Do you have any evidence to suggest what percentage of (certain categories of) people use landscape? At the moment, this post reads as a comment about your own experience rather than evidence of larger usage patterns. Dec 3, 2015 at 20:07

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