Survey: Most homes own at least one tech gadget

New study from Pew Internet finds 90 percent of homes in the U.S. own at least one technology device, with the mobile phone the most popular gadget of all.

Pew Internet

Almost all American homes now own at least one tech gadget, according to a new study released yesterday by Pew Internet.

In its "Generations and their gadgets" report, Pew revealed that 85 percent have their own mobile phones, while 90 percent live in a household with at least one working cell phone.

Pew based its findings on a survey of 3,001 Americans ages 18 and older that was conducted between August 9 and September 13.

Though mobile phones were by far the most popular gadgets, computers were also near the top of the list, with desktops owned by 59 percent and laptops by 52 percent of those polled. Drilling down, desktops are still more common than laptops among virtually all age groups expect the younger crowd. Among adults 18 to 34, 70 percent own a laptop compared with 57 percent who have a desktop.

Almost half of the people questioned own some type of MP3 player, such as an iPod. But these gadgets are most popular among the youngest adults as 74 percent of Millennials (ages 18 to 34) say they have an MP3 player, compared with 56 percent for the Generation X crowd (ages 35 to 46).

Next on the list were game consoles, which are owned by 42 percent of all the people polled but 63 percent of Millennials and Generation Xers. Only 5 percent of all adults said they own an e-book reader, a number that didn't vary too much among the respective age groups. And despite the popularity of the iPad and the growing tablet market, only 4 percent said they have a tablet, a number that stayed about the same for the younger generations but dropped for the older crowd.

Only 9 percent of adults don't own any of the devices mentioned in the survey, a number that ranged from 1 percent for Millennials to 43 percent for people 75 and older.

Overall, Millennials were by far the biggest group to not just own tech gadgets but enjoy their full benefits. As one example cited by Pew, most mobile-phone owners admitted to using their phones for talking, snapping photos, and instant messaging. But the 18-34 crowd said they also use their phones to hop online, send e-mail, play games, listen to music, and take videos.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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