E-Reader And Tablet Ownership Nearly Doubled Over The Holidays
January 23, 2012

E-Reader And Tablet Ownership Nearly Doubled Over The Holidays

Smartphones weren´t the only high-tech device being stuffed into stockings en masse over the holidays. According to a recent study, the number of people who own tablets and e-readers almost doubled between mid-December and January.

In fact, the report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that nearly 30 percent of Americans now own at least one tablet or e-reader, up from 18 percent at the beginning of December.

The percentage of Americans who own a tablet climbed from 10 percent to 19 percent during the same time period, and an identical rise from 10 to 19 percent was also recorded for e-books.

While Amazon.com first blazed the trail for future e-readers with the release of its Kindle in 2007, Apple took digital reading to the next level with their more versatile (and expensive) iPad in 2010. And in the years that followed, devices like Barnes and Noble´s Nook and the Kindle Fire have created new market niches - both in terms of price and features.

The study also found that men and women were equally likely to own tablets, while e-readers were slightly more common among women. And not surprising given the price difference, tablets were far likelier to be purchased by people from higher income households.

The study also found a correlation between e-reader ownership and educational background, with better educated people being significantly more likely to own a tablet that than those with little or no higher education.

While they expected a modest holiday surge, industry analysts say the dramatic increase in ownership of the devices was a bit surprising, coming as it did after a period of relative stagnation for e-reader and tablet sales. Yet in a savvy response to a still recovering market and price-picky consumers, both Amazon and Barnes and Noble introduced tablets in time for the holidays that were considerably cheaper than Apple´s pricy iPad. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet soared in sales during the month of December, while company´s also introduced versions of their e-books for under $100.

These figures are part of larger ongoing surveys being conducted by the Pew Research Center´s Internet & American Life Project that plans to track and study the growth of the e-reader and tablet markets.


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