More than a third of UK consumers now have access to a tablet computer, according to a study carried out by eMarketer.
The digital research firm also predicted that by 2017, the number of tablet users in the UK will have increased from 20 million to around 34 million.
By this point, eMarketer expects tablets to be a true ‘mass market device’ – a status made possible by the release of affordable alternatives to the current favourite, the iPad, which is priced above £300. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is one popular option, but more recent low-cost releases include the £49 Avoca from Carphone Warehouse and Argos’ MyTablet, which is priced at £99.
With most devices using the latest Android operating system, Google’s market share in the UK is said to be increasing. Apple retains its top spot, with an estimated 11.8 million Britons using iPads.
Despite its hold as market leader, Apple’s share is expected to shrink under increasing competition from more economically priced tablets.
EMarketer’s predictions are based on those using a tablet computer at least once a month, and do not take into account whether or not people own the device they use. The tablet’s move into the mainstream arena – alongside the laptop and netbook, as well as the ever dwindling desktop computer – is hinted at by eMarketer’s claim that the demographics showing the quickest take-up of tablets are the over-65s and children under 12.
As more and more people use tablet computers, it becomes increasingly important for businesses with an internet marketing or SEO strategy in place to ensure they take a responsive approach to web design, so that users can easily access pages across multiple platforms.