At the close of 2012, nearly 200 million tablets will have shipped worldwide since 2009 and an additional 1 billion tablets are forecast to ship over the next 5 years, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.
New research that explores the impact a media tablet has on the daily life of a U.S. consumer shows that 22 percent of users spend $50 or more per month and 9 percent spend $100 or more -- that's much higher than spending levels observed by typical smartphone users.
While tablets are most recognized as digital media consumption devices, there are a growing number of other common use-cases that extend beyond reading magazines or watching streaming video content.
"Tablets are quickly becoming the go-to transaction screen within the home," says Jeff Orr, mobile devices senior practice director at ABI Research.
Spending on-device of physical and virtual goods has not yet impacted retail storefronts -- which are already concerned about their venues turning into showrooms for eventual online purchases.
Logistics, such as price checking, using a coupon and location-based searches, consistently rank as the most common activities -- each performed by more than 50 percent of tablet users in the previous 90 days -- while shopping for products or services.
"The opportunity to keep consumers buying in-store squarely remains with the retailer. So far, the presence of a media tablet during the shopping experience has not altered the sales channel where consumers finally buy products," notes Orr.
Moreover, the actual amount of usage cannibalization that a tablet has on traditional print editorial and TV program consumption varies.
Most surprising is that tablets are increasingly used in conjunction with other media types (14 percent for TV; 17 percent for newspapers and magazines), which makes the experience more interactive and immersive than the more typical static content engagement.
These consumer media tablet usage findings are part of the ABI Research service offerings, which includes Research Reports, Market Data, Insights and Surveys.