Mobile VOIP company Rebtel has released results from its latest study on U.S. immigrant consumer mobile usage and behavior. According to its findings, 13% of those who responded said they currently own a tablet device, representing approximately five million Americans.

According to the survey, the iPad remains the tablet of choice for immigrants, with two-thirds of current tablet owners indicating they own iPads. According to the survey, French Americans are the highest percentage of tablet owners (17%), followed by Mexican-Americans (15%).

The survey shows wide disparities among immigrant groups about whether or not they would buy a tablet in the near future. Interestingly, although French Americans ranked the highest in terms of tablet ownership, only 34% said they were looking to buy one - putting them last among the different demographics surveyed. Ghanese and Indian Americans topped the list with 62% and 58% respectively indicating that they do plan to buy a tablet soon.

Across the board, all demographics surveyed listed the iPad as their tablet of choice.

Amazon's Kindle was the popular second choice as a tablet device, with 9% of those surveyed saying they're likely to buy one. Ethiopian immigrants expressed the most interest in the Kindle, with 24% saying they're likely to buy one.



The results of the survey, say Andres Bernstrom, CEO of Rebtel, point to a shifting brand identification. "Apple has remained the brand of choice for the immigrant and first generation U.S. market," he says. "We're witnessing a massive shift in technology brand affinity over the past decade as Sony has been dethroned, and Apple has grabbed the reigns and held tight starting with the iPod moving forward."

But if these numbers are accurate, they don't simply mark immigrants' brand identification and affinity with Apple. A recent Pew Internet and American Life Project study on Americans and their gadgetry found far lower adoptions rates, in general, of tablets. According to its figures, just 4% of Americans own tablets and 5% own e-readers. That's substantially lower than the 13% in the Rebtel survey.

The Rebtel survey doesn't give any indication of why immigrants would gravitate to tablets at a higher rate. Size? Mobility? Cost? Internet access?