nook_tabletTablet ownership among U.S. broadband households jumped nearly 33% between 2011 and 2012 as competition for market share among Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Microsoft led to lower price points, according to new research from Parks Associates. Forty-eight percent of U.S. broadband households now own at least one tablet, with 22% reporting a tablet purchase in 2012.

Growing tablet adoption contrasts sharply with that for e-readers. Just 7% of U.S. broadband households purchased an e-reader in 2012, down from 9% in 2011, according to Parks’ “Tablets: Disrupting Mobile Computing and the Digital Home.”

Parks’ analysts expect tablet adoption will continue accelerating as original equipment manufacturers introduce more tablets across all price points. “Amazon has expanded the low end of the tablet market with the Kindle Fire, whereas Microsoft is making a credible push at the higher end,” commented Parks’ senior analyst Jennifer Kent.

“The software giant’s renewed focus on the success of the Surface Pro, after the disappointing traction of the more-limited Surface RT, will mean better options for consumers shopping for top-of-the-line tablets. Efforts by content providers such as Viacom, which offers apps and services to view its content on tablets, will also help drive wider tablet adoption by offering consumers more content options on mobile screens.”

The popularity of tablets poses an ongoing threat to demand for other consumer electronics (CE) devices such as PCs and e-readers, Parks added, noting that tablet purchases exceeded that for PCs for the first time in 2012 and is expected to do so again this year.

“The tablet is taking market share from other devices with overlapping functionality, but its continued growth depends on manufacturers’ ability to continue to carve out a niche that differentiates the tablet from other form factors while also complementing them,” Kent elaborated.

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