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While Apple is reportedly trying to kill Amazon’s plans to enter the tablet space, the e-commerce giant may have the last laugh if new research on the popularity of e-readers over tablets is anything to go by.New research from Pew Internet says e-reader ownership in the US is surging, compared with tablet ownership.

E-book reader ownership among adults is said to have doubled ro 12 percent in May this year, from 6 percent in November last year.

E-readers, such as Amazon’s own Kindle, allow readers to download and read books and periodicals and compete with the tablet’s capabilities, which provide the same faciities as e-readers as well as interactive web functions.

However, tablets have not seen the same level of growth in recent months, according to Pew’s report. Over the same period of November 2010 to May this year, the number of adults who reported owning a tablet has grown just 3 percent. Prior to November 2010, tablet ownership had been growing relatively quickly, said the research firm.

Both e-book reader and tablet computer adoption levels among US adults are still well below that of  other tech devices that have been on the market longer. 

Mobile phones are far and away the most popular digital device among US adults today, followed by desktop and laptop computers, DVRs, and MP3 players. 

However, there is also notable overlap in e-reader and tablet computer ownership – 3 percent of US adults own both devices.  Nine percent own an e-book reader but not a tablet, while 5 percent own a tablet computer but not an e-reader.

Pew also notes an overall trend confirming the preference for mobile devices. Its latest survey marks the first time that laptop computers are as popular as desktop computers among U.S. adults. 

 

In November 2010, desktop ownership outpaced laptop ownership by 8 percent, 61 percent to 53 percent. 

Laptops have already overtaken desktops in popularity among adults under age 30, and appear poised to do the same among older adults.   

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