80 Million Americans Now Own Tablets

Tablet penetration is skyrocketing in the U.S. 

According to Pew, U.S. tablet penetration stood at 34% in May, up from 25% in November.

In more concrete terms, that means roughly 80 million Americans now own a tablet. The most recently available smartphone penetration numbers, from comScore in April, show 139 million Americans owning a smartphone.

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BII smartphone and tablet owners

Tablet penetration is still highest, unsurprisingly, among households with an income over $75,000.

Interestingly, however, penetration is highest among Americans aged 35 to 44, followed by those aged 45 to 54 — not among the youngest demographics.

That represents a divergence from smartphone penetration growth, which skewed towards younger demographics first. There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • Older consumers have more money to spend on electronics.
  • Tablets, with their touch screens and simple navigation, are easy to use for older consumers, who tend to be less tech-fluent. 
  • In any case, older consumers are now familiar with mobile-connected devices — it’s not a large jump from smartphones to tablets. A tablet isn’t an entry-level smart device for them. 
  • Tablets don’t have as much utility for younger consumers as laptops, so if cash-strapped younger consumers want to own one device in addition to a smartphone, it’s likely to be a PC. 

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u.s. tablet penetration

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