NEW YORK: The number of table users in Latin America is expected to double over the next five years, new forecasts have indicated.

According to insights provider eMarketer the number of tablet users in the region in 2014 stood at 73.2m, with growth of 26.1% predicted for this year and double-digit growth anticipated in the following two years before slowing off in 2018. By 2019 the total is projected to be 144m.

These figures include all individuals who use a tablet at least monthly, whether they own their own device or use someone else's. The 2015 figure of 92.3m represents 9.2% of the worldwide tablet audience.

The greatest number of users are found in Brazil although Mexico lays claim to the highest penetration levels.

Almost four in ten Latin American tablet users were in Brazil in 2014 and that country will continue to have the greatest number of users over the next five years, although its share will shrink slightly as growth there, at 78% , runs behind that of Mexico and Argentina, both on 85%.

In absolute terms, Brazil will 28.2m users will grow to 50.1m over the period, while the equivalent figures for Mexico are 18.1m to 33.5m and for Argentina 5.4m to 10.0m.

Some 35.2% of internet users will use a tablet in Mexico in 2015, however –nearly five percentage points higher than in Brazil (30.5%) and 12.5 points higher than in Argentina (22.7%), which is some way behind the regional average (28.2%).

By 2019 Mexico will still boast the highest penetration rate among internet users at 39.4%, closely followed by Brazil on 39.0%, then Argentina on 31.5%

Mexico also leads the region when penetration is considered in terms of the overall population – at 18.9% in 2015, compared to 17% for Brazil and 15.2% for Argentina.

This will still be the case in five years' time, when the comparable figures will be 26.6% for Mexico, 23.8% for Brazil and 22.2% for Argentina.

The market could be further boosted by new market entrants, such as US wireless carrier AT&T. It has offered free tablets to its US customers in order to encourage loyalty.

Data sourced from eMarketer, Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff