Pew Research: Tablets and E-Readers See Significant Increase

According to new figures released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the number of Americans 16 and older who now own a tablet or e-book reader currently stands at 43 percent. The number of tablet owners has grown to 35 percent, while the share of e-reader devices has grown to 24 percent. Pew Research notes that device owners tend to live in upper-income households and have relatively high levels of education. The numbers also indicate that women are more likely to own e-readers.

“The number of Americans ages 16 and older who own tablet computers has grown to 35 percent, and the share who have e-reading devices like Kindles and Nooks has grown to 24 percent,” according to Pew Research.

“These numbers are up substantially from a year ago, when only 25 percent owned a tablet and 19 percent owned an e-reader,” notes Digital Trends. “These figures put tablets about at the level where smartphones were a year or so ago. Currently 55 percent of Americans own a smartphone and 91 percent own a cell phone. At this rate, about half of people will own a tablet by this time next year, if not more.”

These new numbers come from a survey conducted July 18 to September 20, 2013 involving 6,224 participants. According to Pew, the margin of error is in the range of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.

Based on Pew’s breakdown of demographics, the most likely smartphone buyer is currently male, Asian American, 18-29, college educated, earning more than $150,000, and living in the city.

Digital Trends outlines some key findings regarding tablet owners:

  • Splitting it up by race/ethnicity, Asian-Americans are the most engaged on tablets, with 50 percent penetration, followed by Hispanics at 37 percent, whites at 35 percent, and blacks at 29 percent.
  • 46 percent teens aged 16-17 have tablets. The next most-popular group are those ages 30-49 with 44 percent, followed by 18-29 at 37 percent. The numbers trail down to 18 percent of those 65 and higher.
  • Those who make $150,000 or more own tablets in droves, with a 65-percent purchase rate. 57 percent of $100K+ earners own them, and it trails down after that to a low 22 percent for those making less than $30,000 a year. Tablets are indeed a luxury item right now.
  • 37 percent of those living in the suburbs own a tablet compared to 36 percent of those living in a city. Only 27 percent of rural country folk have a slate in the house.

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