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One in Four Americans Own a Tablet

By - Source: Pew | B 16 comments

One third of consumers in the U.S. own an e-book reading device.

According to Pew’s ongoing Internet & American Life survey, 25 percent of respondents owns a tablet, with e-reader ownership standing at 19 percent.

One in every three consumer owns either device -- a tablet, e-reader -- or both for e-reading. That statistic doubles the increase for tablets in December 2011, which is when tablets and e-readers were level; 10 percent of those surveyed said they owned one or the other.

The rise in tablet and e-reader ownership directly impacted how many consumers are purchasing e-books as opposed to printed books. The percentage of Americans who now read e-books increased to 23 percent in 2012, representing a 7 percent increase from 16 percent a year ago. During the same period, the percentage of those who read printed books decreased to 67 percent from 72 percent.

From the poll carried out in October and November, the percentage of consumers who own a tablet or dedicated e-reader increased to 33 percent from 18 percent in 2011.

"Last year (not this year) we asked a question about whether people were reading more now that so much content was digitized," Lee Rainie, director of the survey, told TechCrunch. "Thirty percent of people who read digital content — either books or longform journalism — say they are reading more now that they have the devices. So, it might be the case that as the price of devices and maybe some books continues to fall, some more people might take the plunge and get the device. "Book reading has almost always been something that richer people do more than poorer people do."

Pew's data is based on a survey conducted from October 15 to November 10, 2012. 2,252 Americans aged 16 and older were surveyed.


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  • 3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 3, 2013 4:37 AM
    One third of consumers in the U.S. own an e-book reading device.

    I do own one. My phone will read E-books, but it's not a tablet. I don't own a tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , January 3, 2013 4:38 AM
    I have only seen one person with a iPad(my neighbor) while my wife says her boss has one...
  • 0 Hide
    Azn Cracker , January 3, 2013 4:46 AM
    I must get one to become cool!
  • 0 Hide
    dimar , January 3, 2013 5:12 AM
    Actually that's just awesome. Just today, I bought a Sony (e-ink) ebook reader to a relative as a birthday gift. Hopefully this will make people smarter. I just love e-ink based ebook readers, and can't be without one on a long trip or metro rides. As for tablets,, I had several Androids tabs, and couldn't keep them for more than a month, as I couldn't find use for them, because my phone does the same stuff. Any word on color e-ink readers???
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , January 3, 2013 5:17 AM
    and how many people use it on a weekly basis? Exactly. My rooted nook color hardly EVER gets used. Dont need it and touch screens still suck
  • 0 Hide
    assasin32 , January 3, 2013 6:12 AM
    I knew one person who owned an Ipad and he got it for free from someone else he knew who didn't want it anymore.

    Beyond that 2 of my family members own a cheap android tablet. I think their numbers don't apply to the average population.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , January 3, 2013 7:43 AM
    One in Four Americans Own a Tablet

    One third of consumers in the U.S. own an e-book reading device.

    So easy to tell a Zak Islam article :lol;
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , January 3, 2013 9:08 AM
    So we don't have the Dec numbers which would mean a higher percentage, by looking at the app downloads.
    I have several tablets, they are excellent to use when a laptop or netbook is too much to carry.
    I have 7" up to 10.1" tabs with keyboard cases paid $70-$140 there great sites that cater to tabs and have custom roms . Coupled with my portable hotspot 4G or my phone 4G wifi at 150 it's all good.
    If you want great performance then min specs Dual core @ 1.2 Ghz 1GB DDR3 the on board storage doesn't matter you can just switch the internal SD and the external SD mounts.

  • 1 Hide
    igot1forya , January 3, 2013 11:37 AM
    My house has 3 tablets, Motorola Xoom (mine), iPad3 (wife), Kindle Fire (wife). Everyone that I know seems to have 1 as well. But looking from the comments, this is highly irregular?!?!?
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , January 3, 2013 12:20 PM
    "My rooted nook color hardly EVER gets used." Then why not sell it? I'll give you $25.
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , January 3, 2013 12:24 PM
    igot1foryaMy house has 3 tablets, Motorola Xoom (mine), iPad3 (wife), Kindle Fire (wife). Everyone that I know seems to have 1 as well. But looking from the comments, this is highly irregular?!?!?

    iPad 1 (me), Kindle Fire (wife), iPod Touch (4 year old). My brother and my mom have the iPad 1 as well. My sister-in-law has an iPad 2. My mother-in-law has a Kindle Fire. Pretty much every person in my office has at least one tablet [that they use enough that they bring it to work with them].

  • 0 Hide
    wcnighthawk , January 3, 2013 1:15 PM
    I count my S3 as a "micro-tablet". I won't own an actual tablet though, I have no use for one.
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , January 3, 2013 1:31 PM
    I don't have a smart phone-- because I don't think that I'd get enough use of it to justify the extra ~$40 per month --- but almost anyone I ask [who I wouldn't normally have pegged as a 'smart phone person'], says that they felt the same until they got one and now they can't imagine not having them.

    I wonder if it is similar for a lot of people who have not regularly used a tablet?

    FWIW- my iPad was a gift; I doubt I would have plunked down the $500+ to get one myself. My mom didn't like to see my brother squinting at his Blackberry screen, so she decided to get him an iPad 1; at the same time she got one for herself and one for me.

    For me-- I use a desktop and laptop for work, but at home I only use a regular computer for eBay listings and the like.

    My wife hasn't touched the PC at home since she got the Fire. My mom hasn't touched her laptop in over a year.

    My brother gave away his desktop computer after getting the iPad [wasn't using it] and his wife's laptop died two months ago, she didn't bother replacing it-- has just been using her iPad 2.

    For internet, light gaming and entertainment -- tablets do well enough to be the primary computing device IMO. Though, I certainly don't see them completely replacing regular PCs for the top couple of percent for a long time.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 3, 2013 1:59 PM
    Most people I know either...
    1- have a smartphone and that is good enough for them
    2- own one
    3- want one or have at least entertained the idea of buying one

    The ownership rate among my acquaintances is indeed around 25%.

    As far as e-ink goes, the concept is nice but the few models I have seen failed to impress me. The contrast ratio and resolution of those I have seen were much worse than I was expecting. Those monochrome screens really need to get up to 300+dpi.
  • 0 Hide
    static1120 , January 3, 2013 2:25 PM
    I have my tablet that cost me in the $400 range
    I almost never use it as I believe I get work done better in my desktop
    I wanted to sell my tablet 3 months after buying it to realize it will sell for $200 dollars on ebay
    I really like my tablet but I don't use it much
  • 0 Hide
    basketcase87 , January 3, 2013 3:16 PM
    ojasSo easy to tell a Zak Islam article :lol;

    A "tablet" and "e-book reading device" are not the same. While tablets are "e-book reading devices," not all "e-book reading devices" are tablets, thus accounting for the difference between the numbers.