When it comes to personal communication devices, the cell phone remains the “gadget of choice” among Americans in 2010—fully 85% of all adults (and three-quarters of teens) now own a mobile phone. Computers are the second-most commonly owned piece of personal technology, as six in ten Americans own a desktop computer and half own a laptop. Just under half of all adults own an mp3 player (47%) or console gaming device (42%), while e-book readers and tablet computers are currently each owned by around one in twenty adults.
Eight in ten American adults (78%) own two or more of these devices, and the median adult owns three of the seven gadgets we asked about in our survey. Among other factors, device ownership is highly correlated with age. For example, the typical adult under the age of 45 owns four devices, while the typical adult between the ages of 55 and 64 owns two and the typical senior (65 or older) owns just one. Those with high levels of income and education are also more likely to own a relatively large number of devices compared to those with lower income and education levels.