Half of Brits now using tablets
Nearly 32 million people in the UK are expected to use a tablet device on a regular basis this year, as the growth of the technology passes another significant milestone.
Research conducted by eMarketer revealed some 50.3 per cent of the UK population will use such a device at least once a month in 2015, as penetration of the gadgets reaches a majority of consumers for the first time.
Among Brits who are regular internet users, tablet usage will climb to almost two-thirds of individuals (64.1 per cent) this year. By 2019, some 73.6 per cent of internet users and 59.8 per cent of the UK population as a whole will be familiar with the mobile devices.
However, the growth rate of tablets over the remainder of the decade is set to slow significantly compared with previous years, as the technology matures and approaches saturation point.
In 2013, the number of Brits using tablets climbed by 55.8 per cent over the previous year. However, in 2015, the growth rate is only expected to be 9.1 per cent, before continuing to drop over the next few years to just 3.8 per cent by 2019.
Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer, said: "Such a slowdown in the rate of penetration suggests that most of those who want a tablet likely already have one, with more sales than ever likely to be replacements. The tablet boom in the UK is over, but now the replacement cycle looks to have begun in earnest."
However, he added that the tablet market remains incredibly lucrative and is not something something companies can afford to ignore.
The survey also found Apple's iPad family of devices remain the most popular choice for UK consumers. Some 16.7 million people are expected to use such a device this year, accounting for 51 per cent of tablet interactions.
However, this is a fall from 57 per cent in 2013, and eMarketer forecast iOS devices will make up less than half of the UK tablet market for the first time next year, as rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire gain ground.