Tablet sales to surge in UK

12 September 2011

LONDON: Tablet penetration in the UK is set to rise from less than 5% this year to over 30% in 2015, a new study has predicted.

The Huffington Post, the online news title, asked Forrester, the research firm, to survey 14,000 people to gauge popular attitudes towards slate devices.

At present, uptake of gadgets like the iPad stands at just 4% in the UK, despite the substantial buzz surrounding these tools, and measured against the 93% of respondents possessing a mobile phone.

More broadly, between 10% and 14% of participants, depending on the exact demographic profile of the individual concerned, expressed an interest in buying one of these devices.

However, Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester, argued the current British penetration level is largely in line with the regional average, and should improve rapidly going forward.

"Overall, we expect tablet growth in the UK to be quite strong, reaching 34% of the population in 2015, compared with 27% as the average for the population in Western Europe," she said.

"Drivers of tablet adoption in the UK include, for example, relatively high Mac and iPhone adoption, high BlackBerry and Android phone adoption."

Among the extra factors likely to support this process is the number of potential distribution channels, as the UK houses 30 of Apple's 52 stores in Europe, alongside major electronics chains such as Dixons and the Carphone Warehouse.

The vast amount of material available for tablets in the English language is equally beneficial when considering the equivalent content available to other users elsewhere in the region.

Forrester expects Europe, the Middle East and Africa to make up 30% of tablet sales this year, or 14.5m units, lagging somewhat behind the US, which will account for 50% of all purchases.

Data sourced from The Huffington Post; additional content by Warc staff