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Over half of UK homes own tablet

The tablet computer has established itself as a must-have device in just five years with more than half of UK homes now owning one, up from just 2 per cent in 2011, reports Ofcom.

Tablets are proving particularly popular among people aged 35-54 with nearly two thirds of this age group (64 per cent) having a tablet. The trend looks set to continue – 21 per cent of households currently without a tablet told Ofcom they were likely to get one within the next 12 months.

According to the research seven in ten (71 per cent) children aged 5-15 had access to a tablet at home by the end of 2014, up from just over half (51 per cent) in 2013. And many kids do not even have to share a tablet with their parents. One in three children (34 per cent) aged 5-15 have their own device – up from one in five (19 per cent) in 2013.

Tablets are also proving popular with toddlers – one in ten (11 per cent) of 3-4 year olds now have their own tablet to keep them entertained.

Watching video clips is proving popular on tablets. At the end of 2014, 58 per cent of people with a tablet connected at home were watching video clips online. 36 per cent were watching catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer or ITV Player.

Kate Reeve, Director of Consumer Research at Ofcom, said: “In just five years, tablets have become a must-have device for millions of UK households. We’re using them to catch up with the news, watch our favourite soaps and keep the kids entertained, with around one in three 5-15 year olds having their own tablet.”

In terms of reach, the mobile phone was the primary device used for gaming by the end of 2014, with over a quarter (26 per cent) of mobile users playing games at least once a week.

But gaming on tablets is becoming increasingly popular, and catching up on console gaming. Some 15 per cent of all adults use a tablet to play games such as Angry Birds, Halo or Candy Crush compared with 17 per cent for gaming on consoles. Almost one in four (24 per cent) 16-24 year olds are regularly gaming on their tablet.

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