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Deloitte report reveals momentum of tablet revolution

16 July 2012

  • 12% of tablet owners already have more than one tablet
  • Tablet owners spend three times as much as smartphone owners on apps

More than 15% of UK consumers now own or have access to a tablet, according to new research on mobile consumption habits by Deloitte, the business advisory firm. Not bad for a device that launched just over two years ago, and which now number about 7 million in the UK.

One in eight tablet owners own or have access to multiple tablets, according to the survey of over 2,000 consumers by YouGov on behalf of Deloitte. Among smartphone owners the ratio is higher: one in four smartphone owners have multiple devices; but smartphones have been available for far longer.

Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte comments: “It took several decades for one household to have more than one car, telephone line, radio, or television and ten years for a similar landmark to be reached in the computing and mobile phone markets. Moving to owning more than one tablet is happening at a much faster pace than has been the case with other products and services.

“The launch of a diversifying range of tablet devices, with sizes now ranging from 7 inches to 13 inches, will increase the number of people owning several tablets.”

Tablets remain predominantly personal devices (83%) with the remaining used for business (2%) or for both work and personal use (15%).

According to respondents, tablet ownership is having an impact on laptop use. One in five consumers say they now hardly use their laptop at all and 29% use their laptop less. Smartphones have taken a backseat for 11% of tablet owners and a quarter (25%) say they now use their smartphone less.

Paul Lee commented that in the long run, demand for PCs will sustain: “We are not in a post-PC era; the vast majority of tablet users remain PC owners and users. Tablets are optimised for viewing and occasionally reviewing; in general they lack the processing power and user interface required for creating content.

“Tablets are a “goldilocks” device positioned between more powerful, but less portable, and less durable computers, and more pocketable, but far smaller smartphones.”

When it comes to apps, tablet owners spend about three times more on apps compared to smartphone owners, downloading about four apps per month and spending about £2.50 a month. Smartphone owners are downloading about two apps and spending about 75p a month.

In terms of how tablets are connected to the Internet, Wi-Fi is the preferred option for consumers. This reflects where tablets are most often used, which is indoors. One in seven (14%) respondents who own a tablet use the mobile network to connect to the Internet .

Other key findings:

  • Tablet users are most open to new types of services, in particular online subscriptions to media services, with film streaming services and online newspaper subscriptions as most desirable;
  • Tablet usage mirrors that of PCs. Searching for information (64%), email use (63%), visiting news and sports websites (54%) and social networks (51%) are the most popular online activities;
  • When not connected to the Internet, tablet owners are using their tablets to play games (60%), read (45%), watch TV or films (41%) and listen to music (40%).


Notes to editors

The UK research was conducted by YouGov, based on a survey written by Deloitte, on 9-11th May 2012 with 2060 respondents.

Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2012 surveyed 27,000 consumers from 15 other countries, in May/June 2012.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Media contacts

Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
Job Title:
+44 (0) 20 7303 0885

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