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pew-tablet-feb-2011.JPGAs of September 2010, 4% of American adults own a tablet computer such as an iPad, [pdf] a new study from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Data from “Generations and Their Gadgets” indicates that though education and household income are high predictors for owning a tablet computer, Pew data shows they are also more popular with adults age 56 and under (who are significantly more likely to own a tablet computer than adults age 66 and older).

Generational Divide Narrower with E-book Readers

pew-ebook-feb-2011.JPGAs of September 2010, 5% of American adults owned an electronic book reader such as a Kindle or Sony Digital Book. However, this figure had more than doubled from 2% of adults the first time the question was asked by Pew in April 2009.

Statistically, there is very little variation between the different generations, although the G.I. Generation (75 and older) is slightly less likely than younger generations to own such a device. Younger Boomers (47-56) are most likely, with 7% ownership.

Tablets, E-book Readers Still Emerging

pew-gadget-ownership-adults-feb-2011.JPGA comparison of how many US adults in total own a tablet computer and/or e-book reader with how many own other devices demonstrates that the market for these two tech devices is clearly still in the emerging phase. As of July 2010, only about 5% of the US population owned either device.

In contrast, more mature tech devices in one case have achieved near-total market penetration. Namely, as of July 2010, 85% of US adults owned a cell phone. No other tech device has achieved close to this level of penetration. Desktop computers come next with slightly less than 60% ownership among US adults, followed by laptop computers (slightly more than 50%), MP3 players (slightly less than 50%) and game consoles (slightly more than 40%).

Juniper: Tablet Shipments to Exceed 80M in 5 Yrs

Global shipments of tablet computers will reach 81 million by 2015, according to recent estimates from Juniper Research. North America and Western Europe are predicted to remain the primary drivers of global tablet computer sales and sales in both regions will approximately quadruple between 2010 and 2015, according to MarketingCharts analysis of Juniper data.

However, tablet sales in the Far East, which as of 2010 are virtually negligible, will substantially increase to a level approximately two-thirds that of Western Europe. Meanwhile, tablet sales in Africa/Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Indian Subcontinent, Central/Eastern Europe, and Latin America will remain relatively small portions of the global total, but increase significantly from their current levels.

About the Data: These findings are based on a survey of 3,001 American adults (ages 18 and older) conducted between August 9 and September 13, 2010. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, and the survey included 1,000 cell phone interviews.

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