With some 58.3% of Irish internet users owning a tablet, Ireland ranks in fifth place behind Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK, which came in first place.
eMarketer is also forecasting that by 2020, there will be approximately 3m tablet owners in Ireland, equating to around 70.5% of internet users.
Western Europe is among the world’s most advanced tablet markets, with 56.6% of internet users regularly using one of the devices, eMarketer estimates. Second only to North America in tablet reach among internet users, the Western European tablet market has seen huge growth over recent years. In 2014 it increased by 29.9%. This rapid level of adoption is largely attributable to a digitally advanced and affluent population in Western Europe, which has meant both internet usage and device ownership are both very high proportionally.
However, despite these high penetration numbers in leading regional markets, tablet usage growth in Western Europe is set to wane and eMarketer predicts that in 2016 it will fall to single digits (9.2%) for the first time. eMarketer attributes this slowdown to several factors, including the growing popularity of large-screen smartphones.
“Many residents of Western Europe who don’t currently own or use a tablet aren’t compelled to start, even as prices are going down. Several factors are contributing to the slowdown in tablet penetration growth. These include a general lack of innovation in tablet devices during the past couple of years, the growing popularity and affordability of phablets, and the dramatic rise of smartphones being used as entertainment devices,” said Karin Von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer.