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Ereaders continue to hold their own in the UK, with a quarter of the population expected to use one in 2016, according to eMarketer’s latest user forecast. While many predicted tablets would quickly kill off the ereader, the ereader market has held steady. This year an estimated 16.5 million people in the UK will use one, up 5.1% from 2015. By 2020, eMarketer estimates that 18.4 million individuals in the UK, or 27.1% of the country’s population, will use ereaders at least once a month.
Tablets, meanwhile, will continue to see faster growth rates. Almost two-thirds of UK internet users—35.2 million people—will be tablet users in 2016, eMarketer predicts, up 7.2% from 2015. This number will rise to 41.5 million by 2020, representing 61.0% of the UK population.
“Continued growth in ereader users signifies that this device type still fills a niche, but tablets remain the more popular ‘do it all’ device,” said Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK analyst. “As with many media technology advances, there’s often room for multiple options to live side-by-side. Printed books haven’t been supplanted by ereaders, and the rise in tablet users hasn’t diminished ereader use.”
Such growth in the tablet market will signal another milestone in the UK. This year, iPads will be in the hands of over a quarter of the UK population, 25.7%. However, the tablet market has started to diversify. In 2016, eMarketer predicts, just 48.0% of tablet users in the UK will use an iPad, down from 52.0% in 2014. By 2020, eMarketer estimates that Apple’s share of the UK tablet market will be 44.2%.
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