In Last Six Months, E-Readers Outgrow Tablets

While quite a few adults–3 percent–own both an e-reader device and a tablet, within the last six months e-reader adoption has outpaced tablet adoption according to the latest study by Pew Internet research.

From November 2010 to May 2011, the number of American adults who own an e-reader has doubled to 12 percent from 6 percent. This is the first time since April 2009, the first time that Pew Internet began to measure e-reader adoption, that the category has reached double digits. The e-reader category is broadly defined by Pew as those that enable users to download and read books, magazines, and periodicals and includes devices like the Kindle and Nook.

After an initial spike in adoption following the launch of the original iPad, the tablet category has not seen similar growth levels according to the same Pew study. In fact, Pew reports a flat growth rate since January 2011 through May 2011 with roughly 7-8 percent of users owning a tablet, and the category has only seen a 3 percentage-point rise since November 2010.

Tablets are defined as multi-functional devices that can also be used as an e-reader.

The survey accounts for 2,277 respondents over 18 years of age, and there is a 2 percent margin of error.

The study finds that both categories are still in its early stages, with cell phones, desktops, and laptops being more mature product categories.

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