Tablets set to oust cars as the must-have status symbol

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The Independent Online

Forget flashy cars: the number and quality of tablet computers and mobile phone devices that you own are now seen as the ultimate show of wealth.

The latest technology report from Deloitte, to be released this week, predicts demand for consumer technology will continue to grow this year, despite an economic slowdown. Record numbers of smartphones and tablets are likely to be sold.

Multiple tablet ownership – owning both an iPad and a Kindle for example – is set to become the most rapid "multi-ownership market penetration" in history, the report said.

Paul Lee, a director of technology at Deloitte, said: "Compared to the cost of buying a car, the traditional rite of passage for families, an investment in consumer electronics could become an alternative status symbol."

Roughly five million tablets will be sold to people that already own one this year generating up to $2bn (£1.3bn). It took 10 years for computing to reach a similar landmark.