Tablet and E-Reader Ownership Nearly Doubled Over Holiday Season

A study released by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project confirmed what many had suspected which was that tablet and e-reader sales boomed during the 2011 holiday season. The study found that the number of American adults who owned e-readers and tablets nearly doubled from mid-December to early January. The number of e-reader and tablet owners went from 10% at the beginning of the holiday season to 19% by its end. Wow! That’s some serious loot for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

The leap in tablet and e-reader sales was a far cry from the nearly stagnant numbers that the study reported from summer and fall. Many analysts had forecast big numbers from tablet and e-reader sales and had early indications from e-book sales that they were correct. The Pew report just further confirms the e-readers and tablets as the hot item of the 2011 holiday season.

The New York Times quoted Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, who wrote in an e-mail, “Publishers are putting a lot of effort into e-books; apps developers are cranking out more and more tools for tablets; libraries and tech companies are making e-books easier to borrow, so the ecosystem of these devices is making them more valuable.”

The study also showed several demographic trends. The higher educated and higher earning population tended to own more tablets. The report found that one-third of college educated Americans now own tablets.  Pew also found that e-readers were more popular with women, but that is a trend that has carried over as women were also higher consumers of paperback books.