nexus7 tabletNearly 3 in 10 (29%) of U.S. tablet owners own a tablet with 3G or 4G connectivity. Of these, only half (49%) of online consumers said they actually pay for a data plan, according to results of a study from CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association.

Twenty-five percent said they pay for a data plan for their tablet separately, while another 23% said they pay for a bundled data plan with their smartphones, according to CEA’s “Consumer Outlook on Tablets Q4 2013.”

“There is a disconnect between consumers that own a 3G/4G-enabled tablet and the consumers that feel the need to pay for the data connectivity,” commented CEA director, market research Tara Hutton. “As we head into the holiday season with excitement around recent product announcements, tablets will garner strong sales and will present the opportunity to sell the benefits of cellular connectivity to consumers.”

Tablets top the list on consumers’ tech gift wish lift for this holiday season, according to CEA’s “20th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study.” Not only would U.S. consumers like to receive tablets, they intend to give them as gifts: 26% of gift givers said they plan to buy a tablet in 4Q.

“Striking the right chord with consumers’ tablet expectations this holiday season will be imperative to resuming the growth trends we’ve seen prior to 2013,” said Hutton.

Tablet ownership rates in the U.S. have remained steady since last March with 41% of online U.S. consumers saying they owned a tablet as of this past September.

At 52%, tablet ownership remains highest among adults ages 25-34, according to CEA’s latest findings. Among U.S. adults ages 35-44, the tablet ownership rate is 48%.

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