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Pew: tablet ownership doubled in US over the holidays

updated 12:40 am EST, Mon January 23, 2012

Pew shows huge tablet ownership spike in late 2011

Ownership of both tablets and e-readers exploded through the holidays, Pew found on Monday. About 10 percent of Americans owned each in December, but both had surged to 19 percent in January. There was relatively little overlap, as 18 percent owned one or the other before the holiday rush while 29 percent had either an e-reader or a tablet in January.

The spike ended a stagnancy between May and December, where share remained largely in the same range. Pew's study covered nearly 3,000 respondents and isn't completely reflective of the population, but was conducted over the phone and wasn't as skewed towards Internet-savvy users as web polls.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble may have had the most to gain. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet took advantage of recognition and sub-$250 prices to cater to buyers that had never considered a tablet before. E-readers saw their own price drop, with $99 or less now a benchmark price.

Apple will also have stood to benefit from the holiday run, both through direct sales and through legitimizing the category. It may help explain Microsoft's latest Windows revenue drop. Historically, many of those buying iPads or other tablets made the purchase instead of a Windows notebook, with only a small amount either getting it as a complement or as a substitute for a Mac.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ElectroTech

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ever check who reads books anymore?

    Over 80% of high school graduates never read a book again in their life. If you are a college graduate, there is a 50% chance that you will never read another book in your life. Of those books purchased, few will ever be read past page 17. Kindles will collect dust and iPads will be used for many incredible other uses.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Plenty of people are content...

    to be a part of the 99%.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's pretty bad

    I thought ElectroTech was just putting out a number to make a point, so I did the googles and found his point is very valid.

    1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
    42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
    80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
    70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
    57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
    70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
    70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
    (Source: Jerold Jenkins,

    Read more:

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's odd is that I constantly

    hear the cry of how no one is buying tablets because they don't do anything useful. I see commuters carrying and using tablets all the time. They're definitely not carrying netbooks or laptops on the buses and trains. Yet there seems to be this odd faction of people claiming that tablets don't serve any purpose at all and can easily be replaced by X device. I absolutely doubt that this is the average consumer making these claims. They're probably just narrow-minded tech-addicts who've already made up their minds that they don't like tablets without ever having used one.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: It's pretty bad

    Read more:

    Well, it's on the internet, so it must be true!

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