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24 Million Americans Own Tablets by the End of 2011


Introduced last year, the Apple iPad quickly established a new market for media tablets. eMarketer estimates that 9.7 million U.S. consumers owned a tablet device by the end of 2010, and that 24 million will have one by the end of 2011.

In a May 2011 survey on device ownership -- the first one taken by a research team at least a year after the iPad’s release -- the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that overall tablet penetration increased from 5 percent of American consumers in November 2010 to 8 percent in May 2011.

According to an eMarketer report, device ownership increased the fastest among young adults ages 18 to 29, Hispanics, those with the highest incomes, and people who had attended some college -- all groups that now have the highest levels of tablet penetration.

In addition, men are more likely than women to own a media tablet.

By contrast, overall eReader penetration is higher -- at 12 percent of American consumers -- and has doubled since November. Men are only slightly more likely to own an eReader.

Once again, Hispanics have the highest device penetration, and tripled their eReader population from 5 to 15 percent of Hispanic consumers. Ereader penetration grew by at least twofold among all consumers with incomes above $30,000 annually.

Besides, a demographic divide developed during the November and May time frame -- between parents of children under 18 and the rest of the populations surveyed. The eReader penetration in these two groups was equal, but parents have pulled ahead by 6 percentage points.

Pew's eReader penetration figures are higher than those estimated by eMarketer for this year. eMarketer forecast that device adoption would rise from 5.4 percent of adults in 2010 to 8.7 percent by the end of this year, for an installed base of 20.6 million eReaders in the U.S. market.

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