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But the landscape is rapidly shifting, especially with the advent of lower priced tablets, such as those using the Android platform. The report found that, while 81 percent of users had an Apple iPad in last year's version of this report, only 52 percent do now. Nearly half, or 48 percent, own an Android-based device, with almost half of the Android owners choosing a Kindle Fire.
The type of device matters, since the study found that iPad owners use their tablet more often in general, and more often for news, while Android owners are more likely to use social networks and follow news that has been sent from family or friends.
Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, noted that the sales numbers he's seen do not quite match the percentage breakdown of iPad versus Android devices that Pew found. He also pointed to the rise of the Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet and Amazon's Kindle Fire, two customized-Android, reader-focused tablets, whose growing popularity could have an effect on the trajectory of mobile news consumption.
The report was based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults conducted June through August, or which 4,638 were mobile-device owners.