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Tablets Are For Men, E-Readers Are For Women?

6 July 2011

It’s research, not stereotypes, from paidContent.org:

[R]esearch suggests that women go for dedicated e-readers while men choose tablets. A new study of over 26,000 U.S. adults from consumer research firm GfK MRI found that women are 52 percent more likely than men to own an e-reader, and men are 24 percent more likely than women to own a tablet. Why?

What the stats say: “Drilling down to the brand level,” the study’s authors write, “women are 63 percent more likely than men to own an Amazon Kindle and twice as likely to own a Barnes & Noble Nook.  Men, on the other hand, are 16 percent more likely to own an Apple iPad. Evidence suggests that men’s affinity for tablets may be a reflection of the way they view ownership of technological gadgets with respect to their peers.  For instance, men are much more likely than women to report: ‘I want others to say “Wow!” when they see my electronics.’”

Similarly, Nielsen told me, its March 2011 survey of over 10,000 U.S. adults found that 58 percent of tablet owners are men and 56 percent of e-reader owners are women. And in May, the New York Times reported that sales of women’s magazines were in many cases surpassing sales of those magazines on the iPad: “Some women, at least, seem to prefer their electronic reading devices to be simpler, something they can read on. Tablets with Rock BandGT Racing and high-res cameras? That’s guy stuff.”

Link to the rest at Paid Content


13 Comments to “Tablets Are For Men, E-Readers Are For Women?”

  1. I’ve tried to help us all and do the maths for the first survey, if I’m right (and I’m not sure), it amounts to:
    e-reader owners: women 60.3%, men 39.7%
    tablet owners: women 44.6%, men 55.4%

    Can anyone confirm?

    • Stefan – My guess is that this includes people who own more than one device.

      • PG – No question about that.

        I was only having trouble in making sense of formulations like “women are 52 percent more likely than men to own an e-reader”, so I tried to “translate” it into real percentages (for the sentence quoted I supposed it means that for every 100 male e-reader owners, there are 152 female, which would make 100%=252 owners in this instance).

        Actually, in the original original source (GfK MRI) figures about total e-reader and tablet ownership come at the end, comparing before and after Christmas 2010:
        e-reader owners (of US adults): 2.3% / 5.1%
        tablet owners (of US adults): 1.8% / 3.5%
        There is also a video were they speculate about real figures, e.g. claiming 12 mill. e-reader owners (of that more than 7 mill. Kindles). But, of course, they don’t mention possible double/triple ownership.

        Sorry for going on about this for so long, but what’s the use of such a study when they try to hide the information behind a cloud?

        And, because I think nobody mentioned it so far, another factor in gender preferences might be that glossy pictures and videos are not very satisfying to look at on a kindle…

        • Stefan – Most publicity about studies like this is designed to persuade corporate marketers to pay for the full study, so there is always something held back.

  2. I wonder if that’s linked to the fact that women read more than men (someone please correct me if that’s an urban myth).

    As a Kindle owner with no desire for a tablet, I wanted a dedicated reader because of the light-free e-ink technology. My eyes are already overstressed enough what with me being on the computer all day.

    • Alex – I have read surveys showing that a significant portion of iPad owners also own Kindles and use them for reading books.

  3. I wonder if it has something to do with economics. With women making, what, 78% of what men earn, Kindle is the cheapest and next in price is the Nook. The ipad may be out of reach for those who want an ereader. I’m dying to get an ipad, but it’ll have to wait till there’s more cash.

  4. And I thought it was women that were supposed to be better at multitasking…

  5. Not to mention that iPads cost three times as much as a Nook. That’s the main reason this femme doesn’t own an iPad.

  6. I confess, I just ordered an iPad and don’t own a reader. I like the ability to use any format. And read color comic books. And play games and watch movies. And before you ask, yes, I’m a girl.

  7. PG – I think you missed a trick with this post. It should have been titled “Tablets are from Mars, E-readers are from Venus”.

  8. My father-in-law has a Kindle. I’ve got an iPad. (The e-ink inversion, when turning pages, drives me batty; meanwhile, I don’t seem to suffer eye-strain from backlit pages, and would even prefer my iPhone as a reading device to having to deal with e-Ink!) I also tend to collect e-reader apps on both my iPhone and my iPad. Flexibility is lovely, plus I can have a different book open on all the apps if I feel like skipping around.

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