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Tablet Ownership Nearly Doubles Thanks to the Holidays



Looks like a lot of people found tablets and ebook readers under the tree this past December and that’s good news for marketers.

A new Pew Internet study shows that tablet ownership nearly doubled between the end of 2011 and the start of 2012. Take a look:

Okay, so 19% overall isn’t anything to write an article about, but look at the jump from just a year and a half ago. It’s pretty striking. What’s even more amazing is that ebook readers, which were expected to go on the decline thanks to tablets, popped up, too.

One of the biggest reasons for the jump has to be Amazon’s release of their inexpensive Kindle line. The iPad comes off as an expensive toy that only the wealthy can afford and the techy can understand. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is just the opposite. It’s not just lower in price, it feels like a product for the everyman.

Tablets also need to give thanks to the lowly cell phone. There was a time when we were fascinated by the concept of carrying around a browser, six books and a whole record store worth of tunes in a gizmo no bigger than a box of playing cards. Now, that’s common and we want more, more, more. The tablet is that “more.” It’s everything our computer was but with the portability of a cell phone. Seriously, why doesn’t everybody own one?

 Who Does Own Them?

The Pew study shows that the highest concentration of tablet ownership is in households earning over $75,000, college graduates, 30-49 years old. There was no real difference between male and female and race numbers were only slightly lower for whites.

For the ebook reader, women dominated with 21% versus only 16% of men. Over the age of 50, there were more ereader owners than tablet owners. Higher incomes and education still mattered, but there isn’t as big a gap between brackets as there is for tablet owners.

All of this is good news because we know that tablet owners use them to shop. They spend more time browsing for goods and they spend more per purchase. As for ereaders, well, they’re no good unless you fill them with ebooks and that means more dollars for downloads.

Think tablet ownership will double again before the end of 2012? I’m saying yes and then some.