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article imageMassive rise in ownership of tablet computers and e-book readers

By Lesley Lanir     Jan 23, 2012 in Technology
Pew Research Center released a research report today based on a survey completed mid-December and two surveys conducted early January that show a major increase in ownership of tablet computers and e-book readers.
Pew Research Center announced that surveys of 1000’s of US adults between mid-December and early January, show that ownership of tablet computers and E-book readers leapt from 10% to 19%.
The findings show that the number of adults in the United States owning tablet computers and e-book readers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January. Results show that in December 2011, 18% of American adults owned at least one of these devices, January 2012 figures show that number has jumped to 29%, a rise of 11% in ownership.
The December results are from a survey conducted by Pew between November 16-December 21, in English and Spanish on landline and cell phones of 2,986 people age 16 and older.
The results for January 2012 are a combination of two surveys in English on landline and cell phones; one conducted January 5-8, 2012 of 1,000 adults age 18 and older and the other conducted January 12-15, 2012 among a sample of 1,008 adults.
In communications with this reporter, Lee Rainie, Director of Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project said:
In the time we have been doing surveys about the adoption and use of digital technology, we have never seen growth quite like this. These findings have major implications for every media company, especially book publishers, everyone in a knowledge business, and key community institutions like libraries. They show how radically the tectonic plates of information creation and dissemination are shifting under our feet.
Rainie says that the results are “striking” due to the lack of change in the market for these products from mid 2011 to the autumn.
Possible increases could be due to competitive pricing during the holiday season. The report states that Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at significantly lower prices in the tablet market. In the e-book reader market, “some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.”
Pews figures show that a significant rise in ownership of tablet computers is seen amongst those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000.
Additionally, significant leap in tablet ownership was seen those under 50 years.
A full report of Pew's research study showing demographic breakdown of owners of tablet computers and e-book readers and trend data going back to April 2009 can be found on the Pew Research Center website.
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