More than half of people in Britain aged 16-44 now have access to a tablet computer. The tablet is also becoming the preferred way of catching up on television programmes. More people now access video from the BBC iPlayer on a tablet than any other category of device.

The latest research from Kantar Media reports that 45% of adults in Britain now have a tablet at home, compared to 36% at the end of 2013 and 32% a year ago. 58% of those aged 35-44 now have at least one tablet in their home, while 69% of parents of school age children have one.

More than four out of ten users now live in a home with more than one tablet. Consequently, they are becoming increasingly personal rather than shared devices.

Apple remains the market leader, with 56% of tablet users having an iPad, although this is down from 63% over six months.

Android tablets, which are generally less expensive, are promoting the adoption of tablets, bringing them to mainstream consumers.

“Tablets have rapidly become part of our digital lives,” commented Trevor Vagg of Kantar Media. “The arrival of cheaper Android based tablets such as Tesco’s Hudl and the Kindle Fire has turned what was a premium device into something that’s much more ubiquitous but also increasingly as personal as the smartphone we use when we are on the go.”

Tablets are more likely to be used that smartphones for watching or catching up on television programmes or movies.

Tablets now account for 30% of all video requests to the BBC iPlayer, up from 19% a year previously, and are the largest category of usage, having overtaken computers. Mobile devices and tablets account for 48% of video requests, compared to just 23% viewed on a television.

Research conducted for Ofcom in early 2014 reported that 44% of households in the United Kingdom had a tablet computer, rising to 49% in South East England. Among those households with a tablet, a third said they had more than one in the home and the average number per home was 1.5. Over a fifth of those questioned said they were likely, very likely or certain to get a tablet in the next twelve months.

The latest futurePROOF study from Kantar Media is based on a survey of around 2,000 adults in March 2014, weighted to be nationally representative. The Ofcom figures are from its Technology Tracker research, based on a nationally representative weighted sample of over 2,500 respondents.