A young girl at Apple's flagship store in New York tries an iPad Min.(Photo: Richard Drew AP)
The love affair between Americans and their tablets and smartphones shows no sign of abating.
More than four out of 10 (44%) now own a tablet computer, up from 30% last year, according to a new survey from Frank N. Magid Associates. Ownership is even higher, at 54%, among those ages 18 to 34.
As Apple heads into its annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, the tablet competition has caught up. Android-based devices are owned by 59% of tablet owners - matching the penetration of Apple's iPad and iPad Mini. Both platforms can exceed 50%, because some homes have more than one type of tablet.
The likely reason? Once a home gets one tablet, they need a spare. "People are fighting over these at home, that's my guess. I've certainly heard it anecdotally," says Mike Vorhaus, head of the company's Magid Advisors unit. The research firm last month surveyed more than 2,400 Americans with Internet access, ages 8 to 64, about tablet and smartphone ownership.
"When people get a tablet, they love it," he says. "It does basically everything. You can play games. You can watch video. You can do business e-mail, and you can stay in touch with your social network. It's pretty powerful."
When it comes to smartphones, the iPhone remains the most popular, owned by 41% of smartphone owners. But, when combined, Android phones from multiple makers, including Samsung and LG, outnumber iPhones, with 53% of smartphone owners using them. As they do with tablets, some smartphone owners (8%) have more than one.
Overall smartphone ownership rose, too, with more than six out of 10 (61%) having one, up from 46% last year. More than 79% of those ages 18 to 34 own one.
Magid's smartphone research mirrors that recently released by Nielsen, which found that 61% of mobile subscribers owned a smartphone, up more than 10% from last year. Similarly, it found that Apple held its spot as the top U.S. smartphone maker, while more smartphone owners (53%) used Android handsets.