The growing popularity and penetration of handheld and portable multimedia devices, be it the iPad, Kindle, Nook, iPhone or numerous Android handsets, pose fundamental challenges for telecompetitors, device manufacturers, application developers, media companies and advertisers, all set against a backdrop of shifting technology options and consumer preferences. Looking to bring some clarity to the confusion, the Nielsen Company today released some findings from its Connected Devices Playbook, which surveys more than 5,000 eReader, netbook, media player or smartphone users, including 400 iPad owners.

“Publishers, media companies and application developers are eager to know whether they should optimize their content for particular devices. Advertisers want to understand how these devices might eventually fit into their overall marketing plans,” explains a post on Nielsenwire, the company’s blog.  “Carriers want to know how to evolve their business models in a multi-connection world. And device manufacturers need to understand how consumers are using connected devices so they can improve their products, fine-tune their marketing and win the battle for market share.”

While iPad owners are more likely to be male (65%) and younger (63%<35) and more receptive to advertising than those who own other devices, Kindle owners tend to be wealthier (44% earn > $80K per year) and have more education (27% have Master’s or doctorate degrees). “Perhaps most important to advertisers, iPad owners are also the most likely to have made a purchase as a result of seeing an ad on their connected device,” Nielsen points out.