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Half of UK citizens will be tablet users in 2015, but growth will slow

Another piece of research has emerged regarding tablets, and the extent to which they’re now in the hands of the nation.

And according to the report from eMarketer, this year is the one where the UK market will see tablet adoption crest 50 per cent – with more tablet users out there than slate-dodging folks. Of course, it will only marginally creep over at 50.3 per cent, according to the forecast, but that’s still the majority.

However, growth is slowing considerably as tablets begin to approach saturation point – steady yearly gains are predicted, but nothing like the 35 per cent growth witnessed in 2014. Indeed, the growth rate will drop to single figures in 2015, eMarketer reckons.

Come 2019, it’s expected that the percentage of the UK’s population who are tablet users will be 60 per cent – or just over 40 million users.

As for which tablet is the most popular in the UK, that’s still the iPad, but Apple’s lead is slipping in the face of Android (and Amazon, which is forked Android) rivals. The iPad will actually slip below owning half the UK tablet market for the first time in 2016, with a 6 per cent decline predicted running through from this year to 2019.

Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer, commented: “The country’s tablet market is reaching a point in its maturity curve that signals a slowdown in user growth. Such a slowdown in the rate of penetration suggests that most of those who want a tablet likely already have one, with more sales than ever likely to be replacements.

“The tablet boom in the UK is over, but now the replacement cycle looks to have begun in earnest. And with almost three-quarters of the internet population set to be tablet users by 2019, it’s still a market worth being in.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.