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Quarter Of Americans Now Own Tablets

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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A study has found that a quarter of Americans now own a tablet device, with e-readers also proving popular

The success of the tablet form factor has been starkly illustrated in a new survey, which found that a quarter of Americans now own such a device.

This comes as the number of e-book-reading devices also proliferates, and the population of e-book readers continues to grow. This is according to the findings of the Pew Research Center’s latest Internet & American Life survey.

Tablet Impact

An estimated 25 percent of Americans own a tablet device such as an Apple iPad or an Amazon Kindle Fire, up from 10 percent who owned tablets in late 2011, according to the Pew survey, which was conducted from 15 October to 10 November among 2,252 Americans aged 16 and older.

The study also showed that 19 percent of survey respondents reported owning an e-reader.

In the past year, the number of those who read ebooks increased from 16 percent of those surveyed to 23 percent. The number of book readers in late 2012 was 75 percent of the population, according to the Pew survey.

In the book-reading population, those most likely to read e-books include those with college or graduate degrees, those who live in households earning more than $75,000 (£45,958), and those whose ages fall between 30 and 49, the survey indicated.

“This move toward e-books has also affected libraries. The share of recent library users who have borrowed an e-book from a library has increased from 3 percent last year to 5 percent this year,” the report said. “Moreover, awareness of e-book lending by libraries is growing. The share of those in the overall population who are aware that libraries offer e-books has jumped from 24 percent late last year to 31 percent now.”

Reading Habits

Beyond that, there is growing public awareness that the vast majority of public libraries now lend e-books.

The study also showed a drop in the number of people who do not know whether their local library has an e-book-borrowing program. In the latest survey, 57 percent said they didn’t know if their library offers e-books. Last year, 63 percent of those aged 16 and above did not know if their library offered e-books for borrowing.

When it comes to the reading habits of Americans, the survey found 89 percent of the book readers said they had read a printed book, representing 67 percent of respondents. Thirty percent of the book readers said they had read an e-book, which translates into 23 percent of those polled.

The survey found 75 percent of Americans aged 16 and older said they had read a book in any platform in the previous 12 months, and just 7 percent read one book in the previous 12 months.

How well do you know your tablets? Take our quiz.

Originally published on eWeek.