Ofcom research has found that fifty-four per cent of households in the UK now own a tablet device, up from just 2 per cent in 2011.
Apple’s iPad launched in the UK on 28 May 2010 and its popularity led to the release of a huge variety of similar devices at different price points, widening up their adoption. The current top-selling tablet on Amazon is the retailer’s own Fire HD 7, at £119.
Watching video clips is proving popular on tablets: at the end of 2014, 58 per cent of people with a tablet connected at home were watching video clips online, Ofcom found. Thirty-six per cent were watching catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer or ITV Player.
“In just five years, tablets have become a must-have device for millions of UK households,” said Kate Reeve, director of consumer research at Ofcom. “We’re using them to catch up with the news, watch our favourite soaps and keep the kids entertained, with around one in three 5-15 year olds having their own tablet.”
Tablets are proving particularly popular among people aged 35-54, Ofcom found, with nearly two thirds of this age group (64 per cent) having a tablet. The trend looks set to continue, as 21 per cent of households currently without a tablet told Ofcom they were likely to get one within the next 12 months.
According to Ofcom research, seven in ten (71 per cent) children aged 5-15 had access to a tablet at home by the end of 2014, up from just over half (51 per cent) in 2013.
One in three children (34 per cent) aged 5-15 also have access to their own device, rather than that of a family member, up from one in five (19 per cent) in 2013. Even younger children are following the trend, with one in ten (11 per cent) of 3-4 year olds now owning their own tablet to keep them entertained.
While more than one in three adults (37 per cent) use a tablet to go online at home, only 15 per cent appear to take their tablet with them when out and about – away from home, work or their place of study.
Image: Those without a tablet were asked if they plan to get one in the next 12 months. The take-up figures are displayed: 74 per cent of 16-34 year olds; 74 of 35-54 year olds; 44 of 55+ year olds.