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US tablet penetration hits 35 percent

updated 08:00 am EDT, Sun October 20, 2013

Pew poll finds more than a third of Americans own tablets

More than one-third of Americans own a tablet, according to a new poll from Pew Internet. The poll, which sampled Americans aged 16 and up, found a 10 percent point jump in tablet ownership over last year. The new results illustrate the ongoing shift in consumer computing tastes, as devices like Apple's iPad prove more attractive for mainstream computing needs than traditional PC form factors.

Of the more than 7,000 participants, fully 35 percent said they owned a tablet. The figure represents a massive leap from just two years ago, when only four percent of respondents said they owned a tablet.

Tablets are increasingly popular in high-income homes, as the number of tablet-owning respondents from households earning at least $75,000 more than doubled from 2012 to 2013. E-readers are also increasingly popular in those households, as 38 percent of such respondents reported owning a device like a Kindle or Nook, up from 19 percent in 2012.

The number of households with either a tablet or an e-book reader climbed to 43 percent, indicating a good deal of overlap in ownership. The number of Americans with a cell phone remained steady around 95 percent, while Pew's study also reaffirmed previous smartphone penetration figures. The percentage of Americans owning smartphones stood at 55 percent.

While smartphones and tablets have become increasingly popular, their growth has come at the extent of the traditional PC market. The past year has seen multiple dire quarterly reports on the state of the PC market, with each report showing continuing shrinkage. The most recent figures from Gartner showed an 8.6 percent shipment drop across the industry, even as tablet shipments continue to increase.

Leading the tablet revolution is Apple's iPad class of devices, with the Cupertino company the most successful individual manufacturer of tablets in the world. In aggregate, Android tablets have surpassed the iPad in terms of overall market share, but no single manufacturer approaches Apple in terms of shipments or tablet revenue. When tablets are considered as PCs, the iPad and iPad mini make Apple the largest computer manufacturer in the world in terms of both shipments and revenue.

By Electronista Staff
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