UK tablet adoption hits 50%

Over half of all Britons will own a tablet PC by the end of January after a year of tremendous growth in the industry that has been fuelled by cut-price offerings flooding the market.

Research from Deloitte quoted by the Daily Telegraph showed between 12 million and 13 million tablets have been sold in the UK during 2013, which was an increase of 50 per cent compared to 2012.

The result of the increase means that by the close of January 50 per cent of the country will have access to a tablet, up from 36 per cent in the summer and a result of a glut of cut-price tablets from the likes of Tesco and Argos.

“Tablets have gained popularity with extraordinary speed, and manufacturers will have to work hard to stay on top of the evolution of the market,” said Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte. “There appear to be more users and use cases for tablets than many had imagined. Getting the balance of form, function and price right will likely be a moving target during 2014, especially at the lower end of the market.”

Lee added that he expects the number of smaller, cheaper tablets in circulation to outstrip larger tablets in the New Year. That would mean compact tablets with screens up to 8.5in corner-to-corner in size would ship 165 million devices by the end of March as opposed to 160 million larger screened devices.

Although Deloitte did add that the trend for compact tablets will mean online retailers and advertisers having to adapt to the shift, as many sites don’t display well on smaller screens.

The tablet market currently has traditional PCs in its crosshairs with figures from Canalys released in November showing that slates will account for over 50 per cent of the PC market in 2014 as shipments reach 285 million during the coming year.