UK tops EU tablet penetration league, forecast to top 50% by 2018

UK tablet owners top the European Union when it comes to the uptake of the devices with well over half the population set to use a tablet at least once a week by 2018.

Related: Analysts: Tablet shipments set to skyrocket as prices fall

Figures published by eMarketer show that tablet user penetration across the EU’s top five economies will see the user base pass 100 million by the end of 2014 with 52.3 million of that number residing in either Germany or the UK, before increasing to 146.4 million by 2018.

“All countries in the EU-5 will post double-digit percentage gains in their tablet populations this year, and the number of tablet users will rise fastest in Germany and France through 2016,” stated a press release from eMarketer.

Across the EU as a whole, tablet penetration will reach 31.3 per cent by the end of 2014 before accelerating to 44.1 per cent in 2018. The UK will lead the way across the entire period as its figure increases from 41.1 per cent in 2014 to 57.8 per cent in 2018. France’s rate is forecasted to grow from 34.5 per cent in 2014 to 49.9 per cent in 2018 with Germany increasing from 32 per cent in 2014 to 47.6 per cent in 2018.

Spain and Italy, however, show much slower growth as the former will see penetration grow from 26.2 per cent in 2014 to 34.8 per cent in 2018 whereas Italy brings up the rear with an increase from 22.6 per cent in 2014 to 30.3 per cent in 2018.

Even though penetration is set to stay strongest in the UK, growth will be highest in Germany and France with both economies showing increases in user growth of 28.1 per cent and 26.5 per cent, respectively, in 2014, whereas the UK shows growth of just 19.9 per cent.

Tablets continue to take market share away from traditional PC sales and figures released by IDC back in March showed shipments dropped by 9.8 per cent in 2013 and are forecasted to continue dropping across the globe over the coming five years.