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More than half of UK households (54%) now own a tablet, up from just 2% in 2011, according to the latest Ofcom research.

To put that into perspective, Apple launched the original iPad in the UK on 28th May 2010 - just five years ago.

Tablets are particularly popular among the 35-54 age group, with 64% of people in that age bracket owning one. And they are also widely used by children, with 71% of 5-15 year-olds having access to a tablet at home by the end of 2014, up from just over half (51%) in 2013.

Even one in ten toddlers (3-4 years old) have access to a tablet to keep them entertained.

Kate Reeve, director of consumer research at Ofcom, says: "In just five years, tablets have become a must-have device for millions of UK households. We're using them to catch up with the news, watch our favourite soaps and keep the kids entertained."

Watching video clips is one of the most popular uses for tablets. By the end of 2014, 58% of users with a tablet at home were watching video clips online, with 36% watching catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player.

More after the break

Although 15% of adults use tablets to play games such as Angry Birds, Halo or Candy Crush, mobile phones remain the most popular device for portable gaming.

And not surprisingly, apps are key part of the tablet experience, with 86% of adults using them when online on their tablet. News apps are among the most popular, with 48% of users getting their news via an app rather than a desktop website.

However, it seems most of us prefer to use our tablets at home or work, with only 15% of us using our tablets when we are out and about.

[Source: Ofcom]




jjbomber's picture


Microsoft and Archos had tablets out well before Apple, so the 5 year comparison isn't accurate. There again, your shameless plugs for Apple every Friday are seldom accurate. 

Andy Clough's picture

I think it would be fair to

I think it would be fair to say the arrival of the iPad made the tablet a mainstream product for many consumers, so it's a perfectly reasonable benchmark.

bigboss's picture

Yes, Microsoft and Archos

Yes, Microsoft and Archos tablets were terrible and were never considered a must have product. iPad created a revolution in this sector. I was skeptical myself when iPad was first announced.

daveh75's picture

iPad sales have been in


iPad sales have been in decline for the last 8 quarters...

Andy Clough's picture

Tablet sales

The article is about tablets in general, not the iPad specifically. A rise from 2% ownership in 2011 to 54% in 2014 is pretty significant.