US ebook reader owners doubled in the past 6 months

The Pew Research Center just released the results of  their most recent survey, and guess what? Twelve percent of Americans now own an ereader. That’s double the results from the November 2010 survey. The increase stands in stark contrast to the number of tablet owners. Between January 2011 and may 2011, that figure rose from 7% to only 8%.

Now this is interesting when you factor in the iPad. Apple sold 25 million iPads, and yet more people own ereaders that tablets (that includes iPads). Until I saw this data, I was thinking about suggesting that the iPad be the new target device for making ebooks.  Think about the number sold, and I’m sure you’ll understand why i thought that.

But now we know that there are still more ebook readers out there than tablets, so obviously I was wrong.

On the other hand, perhaps I was focused on the wrong device. Do you recall the ebook reader that launched in late October? I find it a curious coincidence that the Nook Color launched just before the uptick in the graph. Actually, I doubt that it’s a coincidence, but we’ll never be able to prove the causation.

Pew Research Center

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane27 June, 2011

    >>>I find it a curious coincidence that the Nook Color launched just before the uptick in the graph.

    Or that crap Pandigital Novel…

  2. Doug27 June, 2011

    The non-linear X-axis makes it hard to interpret that graph. It suggests that the Kindle 3 release in September didn’t do much to boost e-reader sales, but a careful examination shows that about the same number of e-readers were sold in the following 2 months as in the preceding 4 months.

    So there’s a “bump” in sales rate then, and another one starting in November when NOOK Color, Sony Daily Edition (950), and Kobo Wi-Fi came out. Oh, and Christmas was just around the corner.

  3. P A Wilson28 June, 2011

    More e-readers out there is good news, no matter which one is responsible for the uptick.


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