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.
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.