Entries in Pew Research Center (2)


Tablet Devices Taking Over in 2012

Amazon(WASHINGTON) -- The number of U.S. adults who own a tablet device nearly doubled after the holiday season from 10 percent to 19 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

Measured from mid-December to mid-January, the impressive increase in tablet ownership means that approximately 29 percent of American adults now own either an e-reader or tablet device -- up from 18 percent in December.

While the increase in digital readers may make a few publishing companies nervous, at least two companies are celebrating the news. Both Amazon, which makes the Kindle Fire, and Barnes & Noble, which makes the Nook tablet, also saw a large increase in sales compared to the previous year.

According to Amazon, the company sold four times as many Kindle devices as it sold on Black Friday in 2010, in part due to the introduction of the Kindle Fire.

At Barnes & Noble, the Nook tablet saw a 70 percent increase in holiday season sales from the previous year, according to the company. As a result, Barnes & Noble is currently looking to capitalize on the digital sales by possibly spinning off the Nook division.

While success of the tablet and e-reader devices may seem like the death knell for small bookstores, the American Booksellers Association actually reported an increase in profit for independent bookstores during the holiday season, including a 15.5 percent increase in sales during the Black Friday shopping period. It remains to be seen if these customers will continue shopping in the New Year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cell Phones: Not Just for Talking Anymore

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Somebody might want to think about giving cell phones another name. That’s because Richard Wike, associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project says, “People really are using their cell phones for way more than just phone calls now.”

The Global Attitudes Project surveyed 21 countries to find out how people worldwide are using cell phones today.  Most everyone makes phone calls, but a huge number of people use them for other tasks.  “In particular,” Wike tells ABC News, “they’re texting.”  Fully 75 percent of the cell phone users in those countries say they use their smart-phones to send and receive text messages.

Texting is most common among the poorest nations surveyed.  Ninety-six percent of cell phone owners in Indonesia say they send text messages with their phones. That is the same percentage of Indonesians who simply use them to call someone. Eighty-nine percent of people in Kenya say they use their phones for texting.

Half of the people in the global survey say they take pictures with their cell phones. The Japanese are the most likely of all the people surveyed to do that. Seventy-five percent say they use their phones as cameras.

Close to a quarter of those surveyed say they use their phones to surf the web. In some countries, the number is higher.  “In places like Israel, Japan and the United States,” Wike says, “ you’ve got more than four-in-10 cell phone owners who say they do use their cell phone to access the Internet.”

In broadening the survey, Wike also says that social networking is very popular around the world but that, “It tends to be more common in wealthier countries.” He says the reason is that people have more access to the Internet in those more developed nations.   The Pew survey also found that “Germany, France and Japan are the only countries polled where more Internet users say they do not go on social networking sites than say they do.”

Most of the people who are comfortable with and who use digital technology around the globe are under 30 years old and well educated.   “The more educated,” says Wilk, “are more likely to use their cell phone for different purposes and more likely to engage in social networking.”

This digital multi-tasking, Wilk says, is only going to grow.  “As cell phone technology spreads across the globe, as more and more people are able to access the Internet through their cell phones, “ he says, “we’re going to see a variety of uses and this is going to become more and more common globally.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio