According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project, the number of tablet owners almost doubled over the last 12 months in comparison to a similar period last year. The report sites that more educated people are purchasing tablets with almost a third of all highly educated households earning $75,000 or more owning a tablet computer.
Tablet computers have previously been a premise of the technologically savvy consumers but with more marketing and a shift of the technology adoption cycle to the more wide-spread early adoption phase, more people are beginning to differentiate between a smart phone and a tablet as more apps are developed for tablets and more people understand and accept the product.
This has been achieved in no small way by the entrance of cheaper tablet computers such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Nook, both of which provide users with a cheaper alternative to the $500-plus iPad, which has for most people remained out of reach. The report, which surveyed close to 5,000 people, demonstrated that the number of people who own a tablet PC rose from 10% to 19% and that this was spurred on by the easy access of e-books.
It is not understood whether it is the availability of e-books that is driving tablet sales or tablet sales that are fuelling e-book sales but what is clear is that tablets are changing the way people read and this knock-on effect is spreading to other industries. Most notable of these knock-on effects is Apples recent launch of a textbook app for the iPad, which is seen by many as Apple’s disruptive entry into the education sector although others beg to differ. The Pew report will be formally launched Monday.