Tablets no longer a luxury: Shift to ‘essential device’ for under 45s


Tablets have shifted from a device that is ‘nice to have’ to ‘need to have’ with anew study indicating that tablets have become mainstream consumer devices with more than half of 16-44s now having access to them.

The data from Kantar Media’s syndicated study, futurePROOF shows that 45% of all GB adults now have a tablet compared to 32% a year ago, and 36% at the end of 2013.

The highest penetration is among 35-44s where 58% of adults now have at least one tablet in their home. Presence of children is the strongest driver of this, with 69% of parents of school age children having a tablet at home.

In terms of device operating systems within the home, 37% of users now have an Android based tablet, up 10 percentage points in six months, and 15% own Kindle Fire or Fire HD tablets.

Apple remains the market leader with 56% of tablet users having an iPad, although this is down from 63% in the last six months. The shift towards Android devices is linked with their relative affordability compared with Apple’s iPad.

The increasing ubiquity of tablets is also changing their role. More than four out of ten users now live in a home with more than one tablet (up six percentage points in the last six months). Consequently, tablets are moving from being a shared device to an increasingly personal one, opening up new content and advertising opportunities for targeting and engaging specific users much more effectively.

As consumers become more comfortable with tablets, they are gaining a clearly defined role in households with multiple devices. Tablets are more likely than smartphones to be used for watching or catching up on TV programmes or film, YouTube, or gaming; anything where a larger, better screen will enhance the experience.

Tablets are also playing a growing role in the purchase process with 53% of tablet users researching information on a product or service using their device, up from 44% six months ago.

Fewer users are taking their tablets out of their homes with just 8% using their tablet out-of-home every day, and 44% never taking their tablet out the front door, up from 36% six months ago. Rather than indicating that people have stopped taking tablets out with them, this reflects the different usage patterns of new tablet owners, who are driving the rapid growth.

Trevor Vagg, Director, Kantar Media Custom, comments: “Tablets have rapidly become part of our digital lives, with Christmas sales and cheaper, Android powered devices all contributing to make tablets a ‘need to have’ rather than just a ‘nice to have’. The arrival of cheaper Android based tablets such as Tesco’s Hudl and the Kindle Fire has turned what was a premium device into something that’s much more ubiquitous but also increasingly as personal as the smartphone we use when we are on the go. These shifts open new doors for advertisers in terms of targeted messaging opportunities.”

Research methodology

The futurePROOF study is a syndicated subscriber study focused on adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain. Released bi-annually, it provides a snapshot of technology ownership and usage of digital media. The latest quantitative fieldwork took place in March 2014 with c.2000 people from Kantar Media’s TGI database interviewed via telephone. Data has been weighted to be nationally-representative.

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