Pew survey: How many U.S. adults own a smartphone? A computer? Do people still buy e-readers?

You might think people are buying digital devices left and right, but a new survey says that while smartphones ownership continues to grow, it may be nearing a saturation point with some groups in the U.S. Also, adoption of some devices are slowing or even dropping.

According to results of a survey released today by Pew Research, 68 percent of U.S. adults have a smartphone, compared with 35 percent in 2011. But among those adults ages 18 to 29, 86 percent already have a smartphone; the number for 30-to-49-year-olds is 83 percent; and for those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually, 83 percent. And: 92 percent of U.S. adults own some sort of mobile phone, including “dumb” phones.

Meanwhile, adoption of e-readers, computers and game consoles is either flat or falling. While tablet ownership grew sharply since 2010, it was almost flat from 2014 to 2015, 42 percent and 45 percent, respectively. (Apple, which reported earnings this week, saw its iPad sales drop to their lowest level since 2011 — 9.8 million units for the quarter.)

More details from Pew’s findings:

  • In 2014, 32 percent of U.S. adults owned an e-reader. In 2015, that number shrank to 19 percent.
  • Seventy-three percent of U.S. adults own “traditional” computers, a number that has stayed level for the past couple of years but is lower than the 2012 high of 80 percent.
  • Forty percent of U.S. adults own a game console, a number that has been consistent since 2010.
  • Remember the iPod? The survey finds that ownership of MP3 players such as Apple’s iPod has stayed pretty much the same since 2013: 40 percent today vs. 43 percent then.

Pew’s results come from two surveys of about 2,000 U.S. adults conducted in the spring and summer.

Smartphones, Tablets Grew in Recent Years; Other Devices Declined or Stayed Flat


Photo: People look at the new iPad Mini 3, left, and iPad Air 2 on October 16, 2014 during an Apple event in Cupertino. (Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • MarkS2002

    If I was still middle aged, I think I would look at investment in companies working in the field of vision. At 70, even the iPad is getting blurry.

  • carol argo