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The tablet market got a slightly later start in Europe compared to the US, but as new models—and discounted older models—have become available, tablet uptake has risen substantially, with much of that growth happening in Germany and the UK.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and the UK, the country in Western Europe with the highest smartphone penetration, lead the EU-5 in tablet adoption, with nearly 10 million tablet users each expected at the end of 2012, according to eMarketer estimates.
Together, the UK and Germany will account for nearly half of all tablet users in the EU-5 through 2016.
For both 2011 and 2012, the number of tablet users in the EU-5 grew at an average rate of approximately 130% annually. Both Germany and the UK exceeded those growth rates in each year, with Germany posting the highest growth at 144% in 2011 and 149% in 2012.
Although growth with taper in 2013, and France, Italy and Spain will each pass Germany and the UK’s pace of uptake, the two countries will still maintain their position as tops in terms of their tablet user base—though their positions will flip, with Germany just barely surpassing the UK in 2015. By 2016, the UK will be home to 23.2 million tablet users and Germany will be home to 23.8 million.
The UK will have a higher penetration rate of tablet users among its total population than any other country in the EU-5 throughout the forecast period. By 2015, one in three people in the UK will use a tablet.
Germany will maintain third position, just below Spain, in terms of penetration among its population. However, Spain has the smallest population in the EU-5, which helps boost its position. One in three people in Germany will use a tablet in 2016.
Compared to Italy and Spain, where tablets are more likely to be used outside the home, eMarketer believes tablet usage is more akin to PC usage in the UK and Germany, where the devices are often used at home. Similarly, while online video viewing via tablets is not as common in Europe compared to the US, due to less available content, users in Germany and the UK are still more likely to watch online videos on their devices than those in Spain, Italy and France.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Trends for 2013: What Fragmentation Means for 'Critical Mass'” and “Brands Respond to Mobile Customer Service Demand.”
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