Emerging Technology

US gadget survey: Tablet penetration hits 35%

Andrew Sadauskas /

More than one-in-three Americans over the age of 16 now own a tablet, according to a new Pew Internet survey.

The figures show 35% of all Americans now own a tablet, while 55% now own a smartphone.

Women (36%) are slightly more likely than men (34%) to be tablet users, while men (57%) are slightly more likely to own a smartphone than women (54%).

Users aged from 16 to 17 (46%) and 30 to 49 (44%) are the most common tablet owners, actually edging out 18 to 29-year-olds (37%).

In contrast, 18 to 29-year-olds were the dominant age bracket for smartphones, with 79% owning one, ahead of 16 to 17-year-olds (68%) and 30 to 49-year-olds (67%).

Meanwhile, just 18% of people over 65 own a tablet, with the same percentage owning a smartphone.

The figures also show tablet ownership is correlated to educational achievement, with 49% of college graduates owning a tablet, compared to just 21% of people who did not receive a high school diploma.

The contrast is even starker for smartphones, with 69% of college graduates owning a smartphone, compared to just 37% with no high school diploma.

Likewise, tablet ownership has a strong correlation to wealth, with 65% of people with a household income over $US150,000 owning a tablet, with the figure falling to just 22% for incomes less than $US30,000 per year.

The situation was similar with smartphones, with 41% of those earning less than $US30,000 owning a smartphone, compared to 84% on more than $US150,000 per year.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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