A study by Pew Internet Research has shown a surge in demand for e-book readers, but a surprising drop in the growth of multi-purpose tablets like the iPad.
The Pew survey (PDF) of 2,277 adults in the US showed that the percentage of people owning an e-book reader doubled between November 2010 and May 2011 from six to 12 per cent.
By contrast, tablet ownership growth rates slowed to eight per cent of those surveyed, half the increase in e-book reader ownership over the same period.
Growth in the adoption of devices like Amazon's Kindle was fastest in the most affluent households of those earning over $75,000 per annum, and among college graduates, parents and Hispanic men.
The 65+ age group, however, showed little sign of adopting the technology, with ownership rates unchanged.
The survey also found that laptop ownership rates are within a whisker of overtaking those of desktop systems, showing a statistically insignificant one per cent difference for the first time.
"This changing pattern is the result of a steady decline in the popularity of desktops and a steady increase in the popularity of laptops over time," said the report.
"Laptops have already overtaken desktops in popularity among adults under 30, and appear poised to do the same among older adults."
The mobile phone is still the most popular technology device, owned by 83 per cent of respondents. Over half of those questioned have a desktop, laptop or digital video recorder, and 44 per cent own an MP3 player.
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