Smartphone, tablet ownership soars

Kyodo

Smartphone ownership jumped to 49.5 percent of households at the end of 2012, up from 29.3 percent the year before and just 9.7 percent in 2010, according to a survey by the internal affairs ministry.

Meanwhile, tablet ownership among households rose to 15.3 percent last year from 8.5 percent in 2011, while 75.8 percent of homes had personal computers, down slightly from 77.4 percent, the survey showed Friday.

The ministry also found that 31.4 percent of households used smartphones as their device of choice to access the Internet, nearly double the 16.2 percent rate seen the previous year. Tablets were used for Web-related purposes by 7.9 percent of homes, up from 4.2 percent, while 59.5 percent relied on personal computers, down from 62.6 percent.

The ministry mailed questionnaires to some 40,000 households from January to March and received valid responses from around 50 percent.