Tablets were a hot gift item and it seems they were even more popular since Pew reports that tablet and ereader ownership has actually doubled over the holiday season. About 10 percent of Americans owned each in December, but both had surged to 19 percent in January. There was relatively little overlap, as 18 percent owned one or the other before the holiday rush while 29 percent had either an e-reader or a tablet in January.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble were the top winners of the holiday season since their sub $250 price point almost put it in the impulse buy category or those un-tech savvy clientele who wanted to test the tablet waters.
Apple will also have stood to benefit from the holiday run, both through direct sales and through legitimizing the category. It may help explain Microsoft’s latest Windows revenue drop. Historically, many of those buying iPads or other tablets made the purchase instead of a Windows notebook, with only a small amount either getting it as a complement or as a substitute for a Mac.
Pew’s study covered nearly 3,000 respondents and isn’t completely reflective of the population, but was conducted over the phone and wasn’t as skewed towards Internet-savvy users as web polls.