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Weekly Mobile Breakdown: The Tablet Explosion in Europe

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
February 28, 2013

Back in June of last year, I had written about the tablet explosion in the U.S.  Last week, TechCrunch released an article covering a report Forrester is releasing on the budding tablet explosion in Europe.  According to Forrester, tablet ownership in Western Europe will quadruple by 2017 – tablet ownership amongst online adults is projected to increase from 14% in 2012 to 55% in 2017 (in 2011 the number was just 7%!).


In addition, TechCrunch included the snapshot below on where European adults accessed their tablets and smartphones, on average. There was a large disparity between where European adults accessed their tablets, while the difference for smartphones was much smaller. As you can see, a majority (65%) of European adults access their tablets from home, while they are least likely to access their tablets in a car (13%) or on public transportation (15%). European adults are most likely accessing their smartphones (53%) outdoors or in their living rooms (51%), and least likely to be accessing their smartphones in the kitchen (39%).


Clearly, the tablet will become a very important marketing channel for advertisers looking to engage consumers in Europe, perhaps becoming more important than the PC if enough consumers transition to the tablet as their main computing device. This tablet explosion is likely to have effects on not only the PC industry, but also the e-reader industry (actually, this probably already signals the decline of the e-reader). Who knows, perhaps this may revolutionize the publishing industry as well (e.g. straight-to-tablet books that are monetized through in-book ads). Anyway, this information will give advertisers a better idea of how to optimize their mobile campaigns to better engage their target audience.



Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Over half of European online adults will be using tablets by 2017.
  • Tablets are a lot less likely to be used outside the home.
  • Smartphones are almost equally likely to be used outdoors and in the living room, and about equally everywhere else.


  • Marketers who haven’t already done so need to consider how to implement the tablet channel into marketing strategies.
  • The tablet channel will become a lot more important to e-commerce businesses over the next few years.
  • It would be interesting to see how this tablet explosion will affect book sales and even the digital advertising industry in Europe.


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