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One-third of American adults own a tablet

Published: Monday, June 10 2013 9:45 a.m. MDT

This March 16, 2012 file photo shows a customer talking with an Apple worker, in blue, inside an Apple store on the first day of the launch of the new iPad, in San Francisco. A new study by the Pew Research Center says 34 percent of American adults own a tablet device, up from 18 percent in 2012.

Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

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A new study by the Pew Research Center says 34 percent of American adults own a tablet device, up from 18 percent in 2012, reports Suzanne Choney of NBC News.

Apple's iPad debuted in April 2010 and only 3 percent of American adults owned a tablet in May 2010.

But since the iPad was released, other tech companies have launched tablets of their own, causing a boom in sales. While the iPad remains the best-selling device, Amazon has the Kindle and Samsung has the Galaxy Tab.

"Tablets — at least in the post-iPad era — have been the fastest growing consumer electronics category from launch in recent history," Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, told NBC News. He said tablets "have higher penetration levels than any of the major home game consoles, but not quite as high as Blu-ray players yet."

The study, conducted by Pew’s Internet & American Life Project, says, "Unlike smartphones, which are most popular with younger adults ages 18 to 34, we see the highest rates of tablet ownership among adults in their late 30s and early 40s."

Choney reports Pew also saw an increase in tablet ownership among parents. Last year, 26 percent of parents had tablets, but that number is up to 50 percent this year.

"The question of how parents are using these devices with their children is certainly a fascinating one," Kathryn Zickuhr, a Pew research analyst, told NBC News.

"Even though parents are more likely to read e-books than adults without minor children at home, the vast majority — 81 percent — of parents say that it is important to them that their children read print books."

Editor's Note: The original version of this story posted on June 10, 2013, failed to properly follow our editorial policies. The story was shortened and links were added on Oct. 8, 2013 to fall within our editorial guidelines for aggregation.

Michael Smith is an intern in the news section of DeseretNews.com. A 2013 graduate of the University of Utah, he will be attending Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @smithmichael8.

Read more about tablet growth on NBC.

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