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Tablets, E-readers Gain Popularity

Gadgets prove to be popular holiday gifts.

It may be too early to say that turning the page is a thing of the past, but one thing’s for sure: Shoppers like their tablets and e-readers, and the devices are gaining popularity.

They’re becoming so prevalent that the number of tablet and e-reader owners in the United States almost doubled in just a few weeks, according to a recent report by Pew Research Center. The number increased from 10 percent in mid-December to 19 percent in early January. Overall, the number of people who own at least one tablet or e-reader increased from 18 percent in December to 29 percent in January.

Shoppers in their 30s to late 40s were the most likely to own a tablet or e-reader, followed by those 18 to 29 years of age. Women were more likely than men to own one of these devices, with 21 percent of them saying they had either a tablet or e-reader. Sixteen percent of men said they owned one, the report notes.

The report’s results are “striking,” says Lee Rainie, the director of Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. That’s because from the middle of 2011 to the fall, the number of owners of tablets and e-readers had not changed much.

“However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached, the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted,” he notes in the study. “In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.”

The increase in ownership was most notable among people with higher education levels and those who made more than $75,000 a year, the report finds.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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