01/24/2012 08:37 am ET Updated Jun 14, 2012

Post 50s Readily Embracing Tablets, E-Readers, Apps: Studies

Less than a month into the New Year, Post 50s are continuing to deflate the long-standing stereotype of the technologically challenged boomer. Armed with Twitter handles and friend requests, Post 50s are quickly embracing the same gadgets as the furiously texting Millenials glued to their screens, a new study finds.

Newly published research by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project shows that tablet ownership among Americans aged 50 to 64 has increased from 8 to 15 percent since December of last year. Similarly, E-reader ownership jumped from 11 to 19 percent for the same age group. Holiday gift-giving fueled the rise.

Separately, a new report from Accenture finds 44 percent of older consumers download apps at least once a month. Information apps, such as news, sports or weather, are the most mature app category among consumers who have downloaded apps, followed by networking (social/professional networks) and entertainment, such as music, single or group games, or videos, the report noted.

Older consumers are more likely to use financial apps and apps for traveling, while younger ones lean toward entertainment apps. Regardless of age, nearly three-quarters of consumers who download apps choose those that are free.

Various factors account for the growing use of tech by post 50s. NPR reports that the upsurge in both tablet and E-book sales speaks to the larger trend of rapid adoption of new technology. Entrepreneurs, like this one in Virginia, are launching low-cost technology classes catering to post 50s, focused specifically on getting the most from their gadgets.

Growing consumption within the boomer demographic in particular may merely be a small ripple in the eventual wave that is beginning to catch the attention of marketers and technology developers. Business 2 Community reports that boomers account for 40 percent of the marketplace when it comes to purchasing new technology, and own more smartphones than any other demographic. On average, baby boomers spend $7 billion online annually, according to Business 2.