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Pew Internet: U.S. Tablet, E-Reader Ownership Doubled Over Holiday Season

‘Twas the season for tablets and e-readers, according to a new survey released Monday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The number of U.S. residents who reported owning one of those devices soared from December to January as new lower-cost devices hit the market and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) continued to face little opposition at the high end.

PC companies were always fond of the fourth quarter of the calendar year, and it seems the post-PC companies are going to come to like it very much as well. The number of tablet owners nearly doubled from December 2010 to January 2011, from 10 percent to 19 percent, according to a Pew survey of 2,000 Americans. E-reader users increased by an identical amount, from 10 percent to 19 percent, and the number of people who reported owning either a tablet or an e-reader increased from 18 percent in December to 29 percent in January.

Pew attributes much of the growth in the market to lower-priced tablet and e-reader options from the likes of Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS). The number of people in lower income brackets who owned one of those devices grew faster from December to January than the increase in ownership among those with household incomes over $75,000, according to the survey.