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One in Nine Brits Own a Tablet

UK market research firm telecommunications regulator Ofcom is reporting that tab let ownership has edged ahead of ereader ownership in the UK, with 10% of respondents in the latest poll having an ereader.

The data comes from the Communications Market Report 2012, a 411 page PDF that delves into the UK public’s many media habits. As you can imagine from the size, it’s quite an extensive look at what Brits are doing and with whom. Covering just the highlights will take up more than one post.

First, ereader ownership tripled between the 2011 and 2012 surveys (10% vs 3%). I’m pointing that out becuase ereaders got an earlier start in the UK, and yet they’ve already been surpassed by tablets, rendering the growth in tablet ownership more impressive. The report also contains such oddities as respondents citing portability as the top reason to buy an ereader (53%) even though 2/3 primarily use their ereader at home, with only a small percentage using it while on the go.

Magazine and newspaper reading on ereaders is up, and in fact a greater percentage of ereader owns read magazines on ereaders than tablet owners get news via their tablet(29% vs 25%). Respondents also said that their overall reading was up, with 41% claiming to read more since buying an ereader. And it seems that the ebook is also coming to replace the paperback, with 3 in 5 saying that they read fewer than before they bought an ereader.

The report also covered how tablets where used,and this section also went to pages and pages of stats, explanations, charts, and footnotes. But in this case there was little that was surprising; much seemed to parallel a similar US survey that was released earlier this month, as well as a third survey released a few weeks before that. All the surveys showed that there was a lot of time spent using tablets but little was devoted to reading ebooks.

Speaking of which, the US market is seeing a much grater penetration of tablets than the UK, with 31% of US consumers saying that have one. Any thoughts on that?


image by graziano88

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Tim Gray July 19, 2012 um 4:20 am

Ofcom isn’t actually a market research firm, it’s the telecommunications regulator.

I think iPad take-up here is pretty good – I see a lot on trains and whatnot – but I have a feeling Android tablets haven’t really caught on yet.

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