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Survey Finds Tablet Ownership Has Doubled

The number of people who own tablet computers has doubled in the past two months, according to a report released Monday by the nonprofit Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

Based on surveys of U.S. adults, Pew Research found that 19 percent now own tablet devices, up from 9 percent in November. Pew Research interviewed 2,986 people prior to the holiday season in November and subsequently conducted two separate surveys earlier this month in which it first interviewed 1,000 people followed by 1,008 a week later.

If you count both tablets and e-readers, 29 percent of survey participants said they own at least one such device, up from 18 percent. For younger people, the number of those who now own tablets (excluding e-readers) is even more pronounced. The percentage of people aged between 30 and 49 who have tablets nearly doubled, jumping from 14 percent to 27 percent, while the percentage of people aged between 18 and 29 who own tablets catapulted from 10 percent to 24 percent.

If those figures reflect how many people bought tablets during the holiday season, Apple should have good news when it reports its first quarter 2012 earnings on Tuesday after the markets close. In just the previous quarter (ended October), the company sold more than 11 million iPads. Amazon.com, meanwhile, sold an estimated 5.5 million Kindle Fire tablets in its last quarter, Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente projected earlier this month, according to All Things D.

While tablets continue to sell like hotcakes, is it no wonder that Microsoft is reporting that Windows revenues were down 6 percent last quarter? The steady growth of tablets appears to be cutting into sales of PCs by consumers, but it's not so clear that business users are throwing away their desktops and notebooks in favor of tablets. Rather, they are augmenting them.

"What we're seeing is more a story about people's expansion of their 'screen capacities' more than it's a case where people are substituting small wireless screens for bigger wired screens," said Lee Rainie, director of the Internet & American Life Project at Pew Research, in an e-mail.

Avanade, which has a large practice devoted to helping IT organizations manage the influx of tablet devices, also doesn't see them displacing PCs. "Our Windows 7 transitions are going gangbusters," said Ryan McCune, Avanade's senior director of innovation and incubation.

Are you deploying more apps on your customers' iPads or other tablet devices, or are you being called upon to help secure and mange them?  If so, drop me a line at jschwartz@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on January 23, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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