A couple in Mumbai, India, checks out the iPad 2 at an Apple reseller in 2011.
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A couple in Mumbai, India, checks out the iPad 2 at an Apple reseller in 2011.

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Survey: Singles are more likely to own smartphones, couples to have tablets

Difference may be because married folks are usually older, more financially secure

The survey sampled 2,006 adults in the United States

(CNN) —  

Maybe a phone’s not big enough for you and your spouse to cuddle up with on the sofa. Or single folks need to travel light when they’re on the prowl.

Whatever the reasons, a new survey suggests that married couples are more likely to own a tablet, while smartphones are more popular with unhitched folks.

The Search Agency, a digital marketing company, recently released its 2012 Online User Behavior and Engagement Study (PDF), created with the help of market research firm Harris Interactive.

In it, 49% of single respondents said they own a smartphone, compared with only 43% of married people. Meanwhile, 45% of people who have said “I do” reported owning a tablet, compared with 36% of singles.

Search Agency Vice President Mike Solomon said that differences in the ages of single and married respondents may have played a bigger role than specific habits.

“For many of the findings, percentages zigzagged between age groups, rather than plotting a consistent bell curve – indicating how factors such as generational differences, disposable income, and the influence of children on their parents impact results,” Solomon said in a written statement.

“Married people are often older, have more disposable income and can more easily justify superfluous pieces of technology, such as tablets. At the same time, baby boomers are often more tech-literate than their slightly younger counterparts – likely because their millennial children are pushing them to use new tools and devices.”

The survey of 2,006 U.S. adults was conducted online between August 14 and 16.

It provides some other interesting glimpses into what could be called the mobile revolution that has taken over the computing world.

For example, 59% of smartphone owners said they had launched a Web search on their mobile phones when they were sitting within arm’s reach of a desktop or laptop – a number that jumps to 74% for younger users, age 18-34.

And 66% of tablet owners said they’ve quickly jumped onto their iPad, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 or other gadget to get more information about products they see on TV.