tablet+mobile appNew market research from ABI Research found that 11 billion of the forecast 13.7 billion Android media tablet and iPad mobile app downloads in 2016 will be concentrated in just four categories: games, digital publishing, social networking and e-commerce. Zooming out to provide a broader perspective, iPad and Android tablet users will download more than 31 mobile apps per year per tablet over the next five years, according to ABI’s “iPad, Android Tablet Apps.”

“Media tablet app consumption will mimic smartphone app use in some ways, but in many ways, it will be very different,” said ABI Senior Analyst Mark Beccue in an announcement of the findings. “Digital publishing of books, magazines, and newspapers will flourish on media tablets in a way never seen on smartphones. Increasingly, consumers will opt for the more versatile media tablet over dedicated eBook readers. Leveraging unparalleled interactivity and design, publishers will gain new readers, including seniors (ages 60+) – who won’t need custom, large-print publications anymore – and children (ages 1-9).”

Media tablets will capture a growing share of e-commerce activity, ABI says, as online consumers forgo desktop computers for media tablets. As they get more comfortable using tablets for e-commerce, online shoppers will take greater advantage of tablets’ touchscreen user interfaces and “even camera and microphone capabilities.”

ABI also foresees media tablets becoming increasingly popular with age groups that haven’t been adopting them as fast as others, as tablet use grows among seniors and young children. “The magic of media tablets for seniors and children is the touch screen interface. It’s so intuitive,” Beccue commented. “These demographic groups will rely heavily on downloaded apps over web surfing on their media tablets.

“Apps designed for young children, such as books and interactive, educational games will become increasingly popular and may even propel media tablets to become the de facto replacement for personal DVD players, particularly in cars,” according to ABI’s research. “In 2016, nearly one billion media tablet apps designed for young children will be downloaded.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Sean MacEntee.