Although tablets recorded explosive levels of growth in the early years of this decade, they’ve struggled to be seen as essential rather than nice-to-have devices.

Globally, 45% of online adults now own a tablet and 35% are using one to get online. However, these numbers have failed to grow over the last few quarters and, as our new figures on device importance show, only 4% of online adults view tablets as their most important device. Even among tablet owners specifically, this rises to just 11% – with this group being most likely to say that smartphones are their most vital device.

To re-start growth in tablet ownership/usage, digital consumers will need to be convinced about their functionality and relevance. Currently, their non-essential nature means that smartphones are winning the battle.


Written by

Felim is Senior Trends Manager at GWI. He oversees the Trends team who produce a wide range of off-the-shelf reports and infographics along with our Chart of the Day series. Moving to GWI after completing a PhD, Felim specializes in writing about online consumer behaviors and digital trends.

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