Survey Shows Huge Surge in Tablet Computer Popularity

A new study reveals just how popular tablet devices have become amongst U.S. consumers. It seems that the number of Internet users owning tablets increased from about one in ten last year to nearly one in three in 2012.

The report comes from the Online Publishers Association, or OPA, which in mid-March 2012 conducted a survey of 2,540 American Internet users between the ages of eight and sixty-four. The OPA survey found that the number of people owning a tablet surged from 12 per cent last year to an incredible 31 per cent in 2012.

The OPA says that if that trend continues, nearly one-half of all U.S. web users will own tablets in 2013.

But that’s not all: it seems that Apple’s domination of the tablet market is dwindling. According to the OPA’s survey, the percentage of people using iOS devices declined from 72 per cent to 52 per cent from 2011 to 2012. Meanwhile, the percentage of people owning Android-based devices increased from 32 per cent to 51 per cent.

(If you’re wondering why the numbers don’t quite add up, it’s because some people own more than one kind of tablet.)

So, what’s the deal with Android’s big boost in popularity?

“The Android platform has drawn level with iOS, largely in part because of the strong sales of the Kindle,” said OPA president Pat Horan. If you’re not familiar with it, the bare bones Kindle Fire tablet costs $199, or about half the purchase price of a new iPad.

The OPA study also examined who is using these tablet, or “slate”, devices. Unsurprisingly, those with household incomes of over $50,000 were most likely to buy a tablet.

The study also revealed that about 60 per cent of tablet owners say they use their slate several times each day and that tablet users spend approximately 14 hours each week toying with their devices.

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