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Tablet Ownership Rate Reaches New High of 44 Percent, According to CEA’s Tablet Report

More than four in ten (44 percent) online U.S. consumers owned tablets as of December 2013, an increase of six percentage points from December 2012 (38 percent), according to research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. CEA’s Consumer Outlook on Tablets: Adoption, Sentiment and Social Media Conversation (January 2014) semi-annual report examines trend information on consumer behavior and sentiment regarding tablet computers.

Looking ahead, nearly three in four (70 percent) online consumers expect to purchase tablets sometime in the future, holding steady with purchase intent figures reported by CEA last quarter.

Among tablet owners, screen size plays an important role in portability and viewing content, and ownership seems to be shifting somewhat to smaller screens. Among current owners, small screens of seven to eight inches have increased from 25 percent ownership in June 2013 to 32 percent in December 2013. Conversely, ownership of medium screens 8.9 to 10.1 inches have decreased from 73 percent in June 2013 to 68 percent in December 2013.

Regarding tablet owners’ usage behavior, these consumers use a wide variety of apps with their devices, and games remain the most popular type of app. Two-thirds (66 percent) of tablet owners use gaming apps, followed by weather apps (58 percent) and social networking apps (51 percent). Among the third of tablet owners (35 percent) who have purchased apps within the past month, over half (58 percent) spent more than $5. The average monthly expenditure among tablet owners purchasing at least one app is $8.89, resulting in a projected total of $256 million spent on apps per month by tablet owners.

“Tablets had a strong 2013 holiday season, particularly on Black Friday, but are showing the beginning signs of market saturation,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA. “Striking the right chord with consumers’ tablet expectations following the holiday season will be imperative to improving sales, despite slowing penetration during the past year. Consumers are looking for competitive pricing and simplicity, now that several manufacturers are in the mix.”

Although revenue growth has slowed, unit sales for tablets will continue to see steady increases this year, according to CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (January 2014), once again contributing significantly to the total consumer electronics (CE) industry’s bottom line. Unit sales of tablets are projected to reach 89.3 million in 2014, up from 77.4 million in 2013, while revenues for tablets will reach $27.3 billion this year, up by three percent over last year.

The Consumer Outlook on Tablets report is released bi-annually in January and July of 2014. This series of reports was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at Non-members may purchase the study for $399 at the CEA store.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at, and through social media.


  • CEA Winter Break
    March 18-21, 2014, Vail, CO
  • Digital Patriots Dinner
    April 29, 2014, Washington, DC
  • CES on the Hill
    April 30, 2014, Washington, DC
  • 2014 Technology & Standards Spring Forum
    May 19-23, 2014, Seattle, WA
  • CE Week
    June 23-27, 2014, New York, NY
    • CE Week Line Shows
      June 25-26, 2014, New Vegas, NV

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