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Singles go for smartphones, while couples like tablets?

A new study shows that high-tech gadgets are ubiquitous across the U.S., but some groups seem to prefer certain devices to others.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
More single people own smartphones, while more married people own tablets. The Search Agency and Harris Interactive

Now singles can look at what device someone is using to decide whether they're married and if it's safe to hit on them.

Singles seem to prefer smartphones while married folks go for tablets, according to a new study released today by marketing firms The Search Agency and Harris Interactive.

"Married people are often older, have more disposable income and can more easily justify superfluous pieces of technology, such as tablets," The Search Agency's marketing strategy vice president Mike Solomon said in a statement. "At the same time, baby boomers are often more tech-literate than their slightly younger counterparts--likely because their millennial children are pushing them to use new tools and devices."

The study, which took place in August, was conducted with more than 2,000 U.S. adults who were asked a series of questions about their desktop, smartphone, and tablet use. The results showed that 49 percent of single respondents owned a smartphone, while only 43 percent of married people owned one. However, 45 percent of married couples had a tablet and only 36 percent of singles owned such a device.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the study:

  • 55 percent of smartphone owners use their device to search, even when a computer is within reach
  • 53 percent of Millennials are more likely to shop on the job than their older counterparts
  • 78 percent of adults use a second screen, for example looking at a computer to get more information when watching TV