Over a third of the population will use a tablet this year, with 20 million people across the country using a device at least once a month, new estimates have revealed. The data, compiled by research firm eMarketer, include those who own their own tablet, as well as those who share a device with family, friends or colleagues. The firm predicts that by 2017, over half of the country will use a tablet regularly. Apple remains on top of the UK tablet market, with a 59 per cent market share, according to the figures. However this dominance is set to be eroded by budget models with the growth rate for iPads this year expected to be a little over half that of tablets overall.
Bill Gates is reportedly under pressure from investors to relinquish his role as chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded 38 years ago. According to sources reporting to Reuters, three of Microsoft's top 20 investors have raised concerns that Gates' declining shareholding in the company is disproportionate to the amount of power he wields as chairman. Gates currently stands as Microsoft's largest individual shareholder, owning around 4.5 per cent of the $277 billion (£170.8 billion) software giant. Whilst the three investors lobbying for his departure wish for their identities to remain secret, insiders report that in comparison they own five per cent of the company's stock collectively.
Apple's new iPad mini could miss the Christmas sales rush, with the company's supply chain only now starting to produce the high-resolution display panels required by the slate. People familiar with the company's supply chain told Reuters that Apple's suppliers have only just started gearing up to start producing the smaller sized retina display for the new iPad mini. A source at one supplier stated that the delay is down to Apple only certifying panel producers that conform to strict power saving requirements. LG, Samsung and Sharp are all vying to produce the displays for the new iPad mini. As a result Apple will struggle to produce large numbers of the device before the festive period and it's speculated that it could struggle to release the device before the close of 2013, according to the same sources.
Following the collapse of BlackBerry and selling out becoming the firm's only option, along with Nokia being saved by a Microsoft buyout, HTC could be the next smartphone maker to face collapse. Since 2011, the Taiwanese firm has lost 90 per cent of its market value. At $3.8 billion (£2.35 billion), the company is currently worth even less than BlackBerry, down from a $37 billion (£22.85 billion) peak, with its share price crashing to an eight year low in September. Profits have continued to tumble, with Q2 2013 earnings down 83 per cent year on year. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg data, analyst's consensus rating for HTC's prospects is less than both BlackBerry and Nokia. At 1.6 out of a possible 5, it is also the lower than over 500 listed tech firms.