Nooks. iPads. Kindles. PlayBooks. Kobos.

Americans are getting more familiar with tablet computers and e-readers, with a new study out today from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicating that 29 percent of Americans now own at least one of the gadgets.

In fact, the report found that the number of people owning a tablet nearly doubled between mid-December and early January, jumping from 10 percent to 19 percent. E-reader ownership also increased by the same rate.

“These findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers,” according to the report. “However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted.”

The report could be bad news for Microsoft, which fails to compete in both categories of devices. has kept its sales figures for the Kindle Fire pretty close to the vest, but an analyst for Barclays earlier this month estimated that the company sold about 5.5 million during the holidays.

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, tells’s Technolog they’ve “never seen growth quite like this” in the history of  conducting surveys on digital technology.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to the makers of Nooks, iPads, Kindles, PlayBooks, and Kobos! I think we’ve come a long way since Amazon invented the connected e-reader in 2007.

  • FrankCatalano

    Great milestone. Now the big obstacle: making sure content developed for one device can be used on another. But, in the history of devices, that’s always been something customers have wanted and companies have feared, for it forces the devices then to compete on their merits alone, not on the content that their makers have locked up.

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