New research has revealed almost one-third of the UK population now use tablet computers.

The study from eMarketer predicted an impressive 20m people in the UK will use one of the popular smart devices this year. This figure includes people who already own their own devices, as well as people who share a tablet between friends, room mates and family members.

By 2017, this figure could leap to almost 34.8m according to the firm partly thanks to a wave of new affordable alternatives hitting the market including the Kindle Fire from Amazon and Tesco’s recently launched Hudl.

The fastest growth in users is expected to be those under 12 and those over 65 as those who weren’t early adopters further warm to the devices. People between the age of 25-54 will still make up the lion’s share of the market however.

With more tablet computers on the market then ever before, it is predicted mobile devices will outsell PCs for the first time in the fourth quarter of this year.

Despite the influx of new Android devices, the eMarketer research revealed at present, the Apple iPad is still the most popular tablet computer with an estimated 59% of the UK tablet market share.

Tablet computers present a new challenge for retail businesses and those in the digital marketing as it means customers now expect responsive design on a brands home page for different size screens including desktop, smartphone and tablet.

A Marin Software study in February predicted tablet computers would make Google a staggering $5bn by December of 2013. This revenue is only likely to increase as further users make the switch to portable smart devices.

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About the author:

Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.