Women want e-readers over tablets

Brad Reed
3 September, 2011
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Women have increasingly become the most frequent buyers of e-readers even as their interest in tablets and smartphones has remained relatively steady, according to Nielsen.

According to Nielsen’s latest report on device demographics in the United States, women now account for 61 percent of all e-reader owners, up from the 47 percent share that Nielsen recorded in the third quarter of 2010. The dramatic rise in women’s share of the e-reader market stands in contrast to more modest market share increases in the smartphone market, where women account for 50 percent of all owners, up from 46 percent in Q3 2010; and in the tablet market, where women account for 43 percent of all owners, up from 29 percent in Q3 2010. Nielsen also reports that e-readers are making major headway with older Americans, as 30 percent of e-readers are now owned by people aged 55 or older and 21 percent are owned by people between the ages of 45 and 54.

“As recently as last summer [Australian winter], tablet and eReader owners tended to be male and on the younger side,” Nielsen wrote in its summary of the research. “This is no longer the case.”

While men are still the dominant tablet users, accounting for 57 percent of all tablet owners, Nielsen reports that people aged 34 and under now account for just 46 percent of all tablet owners. In the third quarter of 2010, in contrast, people aged 34 and under accounted for 62% percent of all tablet owners.

Tablets and e-readers such as the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle have increasingly become staples of modern computing in the US, with many consumers adopting them for both work and leisure. According to a new survey published by Staples Advantage this week, 35 percent of tablet users copped to using their iPad or other tablets while in the bathroom, while a whopping 78 percent of tablet users said they used their tablets while lying in bed and 30 percent of tablet users said they used their tablets while at restaurants. Tablets are also becoming a fixture of the workplace, the survey found, as 75 percent of tablet users say they check corporate email on their device, 60 percent say their tablet has boosted their work productivity, and 33 percent say they review and edit documents with their tablet.

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