Tablet penetration in the United States continues to rise, and certain demographics — especially those groups coveted by marketers — are particularly ambitious in adopting the mobile device.
According to a new telephone survey from the Pew Internet & Life Project, 34 percent of American adults currently own tablets. But those numbers rise sharply when certain demographics are isolated. College graduates own tablet computers at a rate of 49 percent. The same goes for adults in the 35-to-44 demographic. And among households earning at least $75,000 annually, tablet ownership increases to 56 percent.
Overall, tablet ownership has almost doubled in the past 14 months. In April 2012, only 18 percent of the general population owned tablet computers.
Different Trends Observed in Tablet Adoption
Pew’s numbers follow a previous report that 61 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones. The trend is clear: Mobile device adoption is occurring at a blistering rate, and deeper penetration is being seen not only throughout the United States, but around the world as well.
But that doesn’t mean tablets have followed the same path as their smartphone predecessors. According to Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew research analyst, tablet adoption has taken a much different course than smartphones when viewed across different age brackets.
While a very large percentage of young adults own smartphones regardless of their annual income, that correlation hasn’t translated to tablet devices.
“When it comes to tablets, adults in their 30s and 40s are now significantly more likely than any other age group to own this device,” Zickuhr said. Unlike smartphones, income levels and the level of education attained seemed to play a larger role in tablet adoption.
Even as some demographics lead others in tablet adoption, the mobile device is catching on everywhere to varying degrees. This year, tablet sales are projected to surpass laptop sales. And by 2015, tablets are expected to eclipse the total sales of all personal computers.
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