One in Four Americans Own a Tablet

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.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

    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.
  • memadmax
    I have only seen one person with a iPad(my neighbor) while my wife says her boss has one...
  • Azn Cracker
    I must get one to become cool!
  • dimar
    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???
  • antilycus
    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
  • assasin32
    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.
  • ojas
    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;
  • rwinches
    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.

  • igot1forya
    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?!?!?
  • rosen380
    "My rooted nook color hardly EVER gets used." Then why not sell it? I'll give you $25.