A new Forrester forecast has predicted that tablet ownership in Western Europe is set to quadruple in the next five years, from 14 per cent in 2012 to 55 per cent in 2017.
Based on a survey of more than 13,000 consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, one in seven online Europeans already own a tablet with tablet ownership most prevalent amongst the 18-24 year age range, with one in four owning a tablet.
In the UK the percentage of online adults is expected to grow from 14 per cent to 64 per cent over the same five year period.
“Tablets are social devices mostly used in the digital home," states Thomas Husson, Forrester analyst and co-author of the new data report. "Companies that want to exploit tablet opportunities need to understand they require a differentiated approach from smartphones.”
According to the report tablet owners prefer to use their tablet rather than their smartphone in the living room and in the bedroom (62 per cent and 45 per cent respectively). Tablet owners were also found to be generous with their devices, with over half (63 per cent) sharing them with their spouse or partner. One third of parents (33 per cent) who owned a tablet also said they would share it with their children, showing owners to have less personal attachments to tablets as opposed to smartphones which are considered more intimate.
Co-author Reineke Reitsma, a research director at Forrester, added: "Our data shows that tablets have found their sweetspot: Bigger than a smartphone and more portable than a laptop, they have bridged the gap between these two devices, allowing consumers to entertain and inform themselves."