Tablet computer sales are closing in on the 100-million mark in the United States, a milestone that represents the enduring popularity of tablets among the American public. According to this year’s Adobe Digital Index, tablets continue to close in on smartphones as the most popular device, but tablet traffic has already overtaken phones as the top source of mobile Web traffic.
The United States’s tablet market now comprises 94 million users. While that’s less than the 121 million smartphones on the market, tablet growth has far outpaced its mobile counterpart: While smartphone ownership increased by 31 percent in 2011, tablets soared by 180 percent.
And as mobile devices become more widespread, tablet traffic to websites has steadily increased.
Adobe’s index now reports that global websites are now seeing more traffic from tablets than from smartphones. Eight percent of all monthly traffic to websites is from tablets, compared to just 7 percent from smartphones. With tablet traffic trumping that of smartphones, despite trailing in the number of total active devices, tablets have quickly established themselves as the more valuable platform as far as mobile commerce and consumer-engagement efforts are concerned.
Parsing the Android/Apple Divide
The Adobe Digital Index also broke down the various consumer preferences regarding Android and Apple devices, which combine to account for the vast majority of all smartphone and tablet devices on the market. According to the survey, 55 percent of consumers prefer Android as their primary mobile device. Apple’s iOS was well behind, at just 31 percent.
But while Android may have the most popular devices, iOS is the preferred source for Web browsing. According to the index, iOS users typically spend much more time using apps and websites to engage with businesses and organizations. And, iOS device owners appear to be more consistently connected to the Internet than Android users.
That extended screen time is a valuable asset to mobile marketers, providing a larger window through which businesses can connect with consumers.
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