Pew Study: 29% of U.S. Adults Own Tablet or e-Reader

Nearly a third of U.S. adults own a tablet computer or e-book reader, with the share of those owning such devices doubling just over this past holiday shopping season.
The share of adults who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10 percent to 19 percent between mid-December and early January. The same surge applied to e-book readers – primarily those from Amazon and Barnes & Noble – which also jumped from 10 percent to 19 percent over the same time period.
The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18 percent in December to 29 percent in January.
These results come from ongoing surveys by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
Pew is studying the ownership of both devices to understand how people consume media – text, video, and audio – and how they access the Internet with these devices.  The study is part of the project’s larger research agenda, supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to examine how the devices are affecting people’s relationship with their local libraries.
The study’s most striking result was the impact of the holiday gift-giving season.
In the tablet market dominated by Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices. In the e-book reader market, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.
The jump in ownership of tablet computers was notable among those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000, Pew said.
More than a third of those living in households earning more than $75,000 (36 percent) now own a tablet computer. And almost a third of those with college educations or higher (31 percent) own the devices. Those under age 50 saw a particularly significant leap in tablet ownership.
A pre-holiday survey was conducted among 2,986 people, age 16 and older, between Nov. 16 and Dec. 21, 2011. The post-holiday data come from the combined results of two surveys – one conducted Jan. 5-8 among 1,000 adults age 18 and older, and another conducted Jan. 12-15 of 1,008 adults.

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