Tablets have become mainstream consumer devices in the UK with more than half of 16-44 year olds having access to one, according to new data from Kantar Media’s FutureProof study.
This means that tablets are now the go-to portable device for films, TV catch-up, YouTube and gaming. For example, more people now access video from the BBC iPlayer on a tablet than any other category of device – such as a web-connected Blu-ray player or a games console.
The study shows that 45 percent of UK adults have a tablet, up from 32 percent a year earlier and 36 percent at the end of 2013. The highest penetration is for 35-44 year olds where 58 percent of adults now have at least one tablet in their home.
Having children is the strongest driver of this, with 69 percent of parents of school age children having a tablet at home. More than a third (37%) of tablet users own an Android device, up 10 percentage points from 2013, with 15 percent owning Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets.
Apple remains the market leader with 56 percent of tablet users having an iPad, down from 63 percent six months earlier. More than four out of 10 users now live in a home with more than one tablet, up six points from 2013.
The study also shows that tablets are gaining a clearly defined role in households with multiple devices. Tablets are more likely than smartphones to be used for watching or catching up on TV programmes or film, YouTube, or gaming – anything where a larger, better screen will enhance the experience.
“Tablets have rapidly become part of our digital lives, with Christmas sales and cheaper, Android powered devices all contributing to make tablets a ‘need to have’ rather than just a ‘nice to have’,” said Kantar Media Custom director Trevor Vagg.
“The arrival of cheaper Android based tablets such as Tesco’s Hudl and the Kindle Fire has turned what was a premium device into something that’s much more ubiquitous but also increasingly as personal as the smartphone we use when we are on the go.”