Just how fast have people taken to tablets? Nearly 200 million tablets will have shipped worldwide between 2009 and year-end 2012 and another 1 billion will be shipped over the course of the next five years, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Investigating how tablets are being used, ABI found that 22% of tablet users in the U.S. spend $50 per month or more and 9% use them to make purchases totaling $100 or more. That’s quite a bit more than monthly spending by smartphone users.

“Tablets are quickly becoming the go-to transaction screen within the home,” stated ABI mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr.

Logistics, such as price checking, making use of coupons and location-based searches consistently rank among the most common activities conducted using tablets, according to ABI, each being undertaken by more than 50% of tablet shoppers surveyed over the previous 90 days while shopping.

“The opportunity to keep consumers buying in-store squarely remains with the retailer,” Orr commented. “So far, the presence of a media tablet during the shopping experience has not altered the sales channel where consumers finally buy products.”

Looking into the degree to which tablets “cannibalize” traditional print and TV consumption, ABI researchers found that it varies. What they found most surprising was the increasing degree to which tablets are used in conjunction with other types of media – 14% for TV and 17% for newspapers and magazines – “which makes the experience more immersive than static-only content engagement,” according to ABI.

These and other findings are available via ABI’s Media Tablets & eReaders market research service.

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