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Who Loves E-Readers? Your Mom

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Yet again, research suggests that women love e-readers and men prefer tablets. A new study from Nielsen finds that 61 percent of e-reader owners are now female, compared to 46 percent in the third quarter of 2010. And, the company says, 30 percent of e-reader owners are over the age of 55.

Women are also adopting smartphones and tablets, but at a slower rate. Half of smartphone owners are now female, and 43 percent of tablet owners are female.

I find Nielsen’s research on the changes in the ages of e-reader and tablet users especially interesting. 30 percent of e-reader owners are now over the age of 55, compared to 25 percent in Q3 2010. A full 51 percent are over the age of 45. Meanwhile, market share for e-reader usage among younger people is declining for people under the age of 45. It might seem as though all of those people are switching over to tablets, but that does not appear to be the case. For example, 18- to 24-year-olds made up 15 percent of e-reader owners in Q3 2010, and 10 percent now. 18- to 24-year-olds made up 23 percent of tablet owners in Q3 2010, and that is down to 13 percent now.

Conclusions to be drawn from this? Well, tablets are not just for the young. 10 percent of tablet owners were over the age of 55 in Q3 2010, compared to 19 percent now. As for why women are increasingly more likely to own e-readers than men, I’ve looked at that issue before, and it appears that all that Nook lady-marketing is working. (Make sure to watch our e-reader marketing slideshow!) And now for the obligatory Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) tablet reference: Expect things to get shaken up this fall when Amazon will reportedly release its tablet and two new e-readers. Maybe the guys just didn’t want to buy a Nook.