Tablet adoption in EU-5 to surpass 100 million this year

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Tablet adoption in the EU-5 continues to rise steadily, and according to new eMarketer estimates, the region’s tablet user base will surpass 100 million by the end of 2014. By 2018, more than 146 million people will use a tablet at least once per month.

More than half of all users in the region—52.3 million people—will reside in the UK or Germany, the EU-5’s largest tablet markets. France also has a significant tablet audience, with 22.8 million users, or 22.5% of the total. Italy and Spain will have smaller tablet user bases, with 14.0 million and 12.5 million users, respectively.

Tablet usage is widespread throughout the EU-5, though penetration rates diverge among countries. More than 41.1% of people in the UK will use a tablet regularly in 2014, compared with only 22.6% of those in Italy. The UK will record the highest tablet penetration rates of any country in the EU-5 through 2018. France and Germany—countries where consumers skew older—will have slightly lower percentages of tablet users among their respective populations. Usage will be much lower in Spain and Italy. Despite the rise of more affordable devices, price remains a considerable barrier to tablet adoption for many consumers—especially those in areas hit hardest by the European economic crisis.

All countries in the EU-5 will post double-digit percentage gains in their tablet populations this year, and the number of tablet users will rise fastest in Germany and France through 2016. Growth will be somewhat slower in the UK during that time, due to higher penetration and earlier adoption, but will remain strong through the end of the forecast period. Despite lower usage rates, Italy and Spain will record the slowest annual growth rates through 2017.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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