March 7, 2013, 11:44 AM

Tablet traffic surpasses smartphone traffic for the first time

Tablets account for 8% of global web traffic and 9.1% of U.S. traffic, Adobe finds.

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8% of global web traffic stems from tablets, according to the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index, which ana­lyzed more than 100 bil­lion vis­its in February to more than 1,000 web ­sites worldwide. This marks the first time, according to Adobe, that traffic from tablets surpassed traffic from smartphones, which accounted for 7% of global web traffic.

“Tablets drive more traf­fic because Inter­net users pre­fer them for more in-depth visits,” Adobe writes in its official blog. “Smart­phones remain much more com­mon, but the tablet form fac­tor makes it ideal for brows­ing. Whether it be leisurely surf­ing the web, engag­ing with video or shop­ping online, on aver­age Inter­net users view 70% more pages per visit when brows­ing with a tablet com­pared to a smartphone.”

At 10%, retail received the highest share of tablet traffic across all industries, Adobe says. The larger form fac­tor of tablets makes them ideal for mobile commerce on the couch, Adobe says.

In the U.S., 9.1% of all web traffic stemmed from tablets while 7.4% came from smartphones, Adobe finds. Tablets dominate mobile web traffic in the U.K., where 12.2% of total web traffic stems from tablets and 7.4% comes from smartphones, Adobe says. In Canada, 8.7% of web traffic come from tablets and 6.8% from smartphones. In France, 6.1% comes from tablets and 3.5% from smartphones. And in Germany, 5.7% from tablets and 4.3% from smartphones.

Smartphones maintain their lead over tablets in Australia, Japan and China, Adobe says. In Australia, 7.8% of web traffic comes from smartphones and 7.7% come from tablets, Adobe finds. In Japan, 9.2% comes from smartphones and 7.4% from tablets. And in China 5.9% stems from smartphones and 3.1% from tablets.

Despite the vari­ance by region, tablet traf­fic growth has been con­sis­tent through 2012, Adobe says. All coun­tries saw their share of traf­fic from tablets dou­ble over the course of the last year, and that trend is expected to con­tinue through 2013, Adobe says.

“Con­sumers all over the world are try­ing out their tablets for the first time and it only takes one bad web ­site expe­ri­ence for them to decide to go else­where,” Adobe writes. “Consumers might turn to their phone to check their bank state­ment or to stream music, but use their tablet to shop for a new couch. They want more per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ences. When they opt for their tablet they aren’t just price com­par­ing, they’re pur­chas­ing. They aren’t just watch­ing a video clip, they’re explor­ing and engag­ing with con­tent. They’ll be dis­ap­pointed if they’re not able to take advantage of the smooth touch inter­face and awe­some screen res­o­lu­tion of their new toy.”

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