19 Percent of American Adults Own a Tablet

Nearly one in five American adults now own a tablet, as tablet ownership nearly doubled over the holiday season, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. Only 10 percent owned a tablet in mid-December, but that figure almost doubled to 19 percent in early January, after the holiday gift-giving season.

The Pew study does not say which tablet is the most popular, but mentions the striking growth was fueled by devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, which were introduced at less than half the price of the Apple iPad ($200 for Kindle Fire and $250 for Nook Tablet).

Previous figures show that Amazon shifted more than 3 million Kindle Fires by the middle of December and it’s unclear how many were sold over the Christmas period. Analysts estimate holiday shoppers bought 4 to 5 million Kindle Fires, while Apple is believed to have shipped some 13 million iPads in the last quarter. The Pew study did not mention Android tablets.

E-book reader ownership surged as well to 19 percent among American adults over the holidays. As some versions of the Kindle and Nook fell below the $100 mark, the survey found adoption rate went from 10 percent in mid-December to almost double by January.

A Boon for Digital Reading

A paperless future might be in sight sooner than expected. The increase in tablet and e-reader ownership means that relatively close to a third (29 percent) of Americans now own at least one tablet or e-book reader, a jump from 18 percent in December.

Most tablet and e-reader owners are aged 30 to 49, closely followed by those between 18 and 29. More people aged 50 to 64 own e-readers than tablets and the majority of tablet and e-readers owners earn more then $75,000 per year, the Pew survey found.

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