U.K. Monthly Tablet Usage to Rise 39 Percent in 2013, Forecast Says

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Nearly 20 million people in Britain are likely using a tablet at least once a month this year, with family sharing driving growth, according to eMarketer.


LONDON - Nearly 20 million people, or a third of the population, in the U.K. will use a tablet at least once a month this year, up 39 percent from updated 2012 usage levels, according to a new forecast.

Research firm eMarketer said that it has updated its number of estimated monthly users in 2012 to 14.1 million based on latest sales and other data.

"This forecast represents a significant upward revision in eMarketer’s estimates for tablet users in the U.K.," the company said. Late last year, eMarketer had estimated that 9.8 million U.K. residents would use tablets monthly in 2012.

Based on data released since the end of the year, that number has been revised upward to 14.1 million, a 43.9 percent change, it said. According to the 2011 census, the total population of the U.K. is around 63.2 million.

"eMarketer believes tablet use and ownership will continue to grow at a fast speed as brand, model and feature options expand - and prices become more affordable," the firm said.

U.K. usage is not necessarily only driven by sales of tables. "Significant sharing of the devices among family and household members makes for a larger number of tablet users than owners," eMarketer said without providing a detailed break-out.

By 2017, eMarketer predicts that more than 52 percent of the overall U.K. population and about two-thirds of Internet users will have access to tablets. "This projection is almost identical to the share of the U.S. population eMarketer expects will use a tablet at that time," the research firm said.

Apple's iPad has dominated the tablet segment in the U.K. "However, this looks set to change... as tablet ownership expands beyond the early adopters to the general population who are turning to lower-priced alternatives," such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, eMarketer said.

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