Last year, research showed the importance of tablets and the fact that in emerging markets many consumers are connecting for the first time through Smartphones or tablets, over jumping the desktop computer. This actually means that a jump is taking place with regards to penetration moving from desktop penetration towards mobile penetration as being the new important factor that travel brands need to consider. In January 2014, eMarketer now reveals the latest statistics with regards to tablet sales in the UK. Overall, the tablet market continues on its path to maturity which is good news for marketers worldwide and very interesting development to watch over time. In 2014, tablet sales are expected and forecasted to reach 14 million this year. However, in 2013 a total of 17 million tablets were sold indicating that this year, there will be a dip in sales in the UK. In the timeframe until 2017, tablet sales are expected to increase to 20 million tablet sales indicating that in the long-term there will be an increase in sales and tablets are still growing strongly in the market (eMarketer 2014).
In the UK, tablet users increased at a rate of more than 165% which is an incredible growth in 2012 in comparison to 2011. After 2012, growth rates are still considerably high but of course due to the initial boom in tablet sales, after 2012 change in tablet users is happening at a much slower pace. with around 41% in 2013. For 2014, eMarketer is predicting growth rates to decrease further as sales in the UK have matured leading to an expected growth rate of 22.9%. Over the upcoming years, tablet sales in the UK will grow at a slower and slower pace and for 2017 a change of 9.4% is expected. This reflects the fact that the UK as a tablet market is fairly advanced already. Most consumers do actually already own a tablet and especially after Christmas 2013 where tablet sales were pushed by retailers, the tablet market will experience a dip in sales this year.
In 2013, a move from classic sized tablets to smaller tablets could be experienced. Many consumers who have owned one of the first generation tablets are now thinking about exchanging their normal sized tablets with smaller and lighter versions. Due to consumers using tablets in the UK on a daily basis, if its school children learning and reading on tablets, to people commenting each day or at conferences, a big proportion is working from their tablets. Although tablets are a lot smaller and lighter than most desktop computer or laptops, consumers are longing to work with and carry devices at all times to stay connected. Increasingly, size and weight do matter, making room for growth in sales of small tablets. For consumers travelling a lot either for pleasure or business, smaller tablets are easier to take on holiday than standard tablets making it very interesting to watch out for in tourism. For March 2014, more than 165 compact tablets are expected to be in use worldwide in comparison to 160 million classic tablets. These figures really speak for itself and show the extraordinary growth in tablet usage and sales in a very short period.
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