According to a study released today by the Pew Research Center on mobile devices and news consumption, more than 40 million Americans own a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop or desktop. To be clear, that’s 40 million people — roughly the combined population of California and Virginia — who own all three devices. Combine these items’ average ticket prices ($135,$423 and $650 respectively), and you’re talking a significant amount of money, especially considering that some or all require ongoing monthly plans. Given that the number of Americans purchasing computers has remained relatively unchanged over the past five years, the big boom here is mobile.


Pew found that tablet ownership alone has increased by 157 percent in just the past 12 months, from 7 percent last January to 18 percent today. This upward trend is only expected to continue as more and better lower-priced e-readers and iPad alternatives hit the market.


Another interesting section in Pew’s report involved user-behavior data. Namely, that “a growing number of Americans are becoming multi-platform.” Unlike a few years ago when the computer was the sole source for consuming online information, today, the majority of Americans distribute their digital activity across two or more devices. Even though Pew’s scope was limited to news consumption, since there is significant overlap between those who use their tablets to read news and those who use their tablets to buy online, the study provides relevant insights into the future of m-commerce.


(Image via Pew Research Center)


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