One in three Americans are toting tablets now -- study

Tablet ownership has nearly doubled in the last year, a Pew study finds, and the people buying them tend to be older and richer than those gravitating to devices like smartphones.

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Joan E. Solsman

One out of every three people in the U.S. is a tablet owner now, with the prevalence of the devices nearly doubling in the last year, a report from the Pew Internet Project says.

The study, released Monday, found 34 percent of U.S. adults now own a tablet, up from about 18 percent who owned one a year earlier.

Tablet owners tend to be older and more well-heeled than demographics for other consumer electronics. The majority of tablet owners, or 56 percent of respondents, are people living in households earning at least $75,000 a year. Nearly half, 49 percent, are in their late 30s and early 40s.

That compares with smartphones, which are most popular with younger adults ages 18 to 34. Adults ages 65 and older, on the other hand, are less likely to own a tablet than younger age groups.

Some of the greatest tablet momentum is among parents. Tablet ownership shot up to 50 percent last month from just 26 percent in April 2012, as the devices find inroads as babysitters. College graduates are quickly adopting the devices too.

Pew Internet
Pew's findings were based on telephone interviews conducted from April 17 to May 19, among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Late last year, Pew found a third of people owned an e-book reading device, with tablets getting preference over dedicated e-readers.