The latest Tablet and E-reader Ownership Update from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project shows Americans consuming tablets and ereader devices eagerly, although perhaps not at the same breakneck speed that they were in previous years. “Overall, the number of people who have a tablet or an e-book reader among those 16 and older now stands at 43%,” states the Update.


Tablet ownership, based on a survey “conducted from July 18 to September 20, 1013 among 6,224 Americans ages 16 and older,” stands at 35%, up 10 percentage points from November 2012. Dedicated ereader adoption is also still rising, albeit at a slower rate, from 19% to 24% in the same period.

Tablet adoption also shows a far wider variation by social class than by race. Divided by race or ethnicity, the data ranges from black and non-Hispanic others at 29% to Asian American at 50%, but with whites and Hispanics at 35% and 37% respectively. No high school users bottom out at 21% tablet ownership, while college graduates top out at 49%, and the highest income bracket musters 65% tablet ownership.

Over at the Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder quotes intermediate data showing far less dramatic upticks, and if anything a plateaued level of tablet adoption and slight pullback in ereader ownership. But I think publishers and authors are going to be focusing most on the data that almost half of the U.S. owns either a tablet or ereading device, and that adoption among the wealthy and the educated is much higher. We may be past the “death of the book” fear fests, but we still can’t be far away from the death of the paper-only publisher, with the resultant impact that these figures are going to have on business models.


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