Feeds

Tablet fever cools as e-readers heat up

Who says Americans don't read?

Boost IT visibility and business value

The American passion for tablets is declining just as e-reader growth is accelerating.

Between January and May of this year, tablet ownership in the US grew from 7 to 8 per cent of the population, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Previously Pew reports, tablet sales had been climbing relatively quickly.

Interestingly, that same time period saw the release of the second Jobsian fondleslab, the iPad 2, along with the Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook, and still the tablet growth rate slowed.

Pew Internet & American Life Project tablet and e-reader stats

Tablet sales are slowing, even as more tablet choices appear (source: Pew Internet & American Life Project)

Neither the HP TouchPad nor the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 appeared during the Pew-report period, but we doubt if the slowing in tablet sales was a result of buyers putting off purchases until those worthies hit the market – though, to be fair, we can't be sure. Call it a hunch.

E-reader growth, by contrast, is accelerating. In November of last year, 6 per cent of Americans owned e-readers. As of May, that number had doubled to 12 per cent – the first time that the Pew researchers had tracked it in double digits.

The survey – which spoke with 2,277 respondents in both English and Spanish, and over both landlines and cell phones – picked up a number of other tidbits of interest, as well.

For example, 9 per cent of respondents owned an e-reader but not a tablet, 5 per cent owned a tablet but not an e-reader, and 3 per cent owned both – meaning that as of Tuesday morning, 9,350,938 Americans have been driven to spend a decent chunk of their disposable income on the latest digital shiny-shiny.

But despite their increasing popularity and media buzz, both tablet and e-reader ownership lags far behind other gadgets. Pew reports, for example, that 83 per cent of Americans own cell phones, and 57 and 56 per cent own desktops and laptops, respectively.

Even DVRs are owned by six and a half times as many Americans as are tablets. It'd be interesting to chart the relative media coverage of those two digital devices. One might safely predict – even without a formal study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project – that the results wouldn't mirror their percentage of ownership. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.