As of May 2011, 12% of adults in the U.S. own an e-reader, like the Amazon Kindle, doubling since November 2010. This represents the first time since it began measuring e-reader use that percentage ownership has breached double digits, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Growth in ownership of tablet computers, on the other hand, has leveled off since January. Eight percent of U.S. adults owned a tablet in May as compared to 7% in January. The rate of growth in tablet ownership has slowed down since November 2010 to 3%, according to the Pew Center.
Pew researchers point out a “notable overlap in e-reader and tablet computer ownership”: Three percent of U.S. adults own both types of devices. Nine percent own an e-book reader but not a tablet; 5% own a tablet but not an e-reader.
Both e-reader and tablet ownership among U.S. adults is well below that of cell phones (83%), desktop computers (57%), laptops (56%), DVRs (52%) and MP3 players (44%).
Also worthy of researchers’ mention, May was the first time results, given the study’s +/- 2% margin of error, showed that laptop ownership among US adults equaled that of desktop computer ownership. Laptop ownership has already surpassed desktop ownership for U.S. adults under 30, according to the Pew project team, indicative of “a steady decline in the popularity of desktops and a steady increase in the popularity of laptops over time.”