June 8, 2012 at 5:49 PM ET
Tablets, led mainly by the iPad, have "quickly reached a critical mass in the U.S.," with one of every four smartphone owners also using a tablet in the three-month period ending in April, according to comScore.
"Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and, perhaps most notably, in the home," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, in a statement Friday.
ComScore says in the little more than two years since the first iPad went on sale — "the first tablet to reach a meaningful market penetration, tablet adoption has exploded fueled by the introduction of new devices that appeal to various price and feature preferences," including Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets and Amazon's Kindle Fire, the latter priced at $199.
The firm's demographic analysis indicates tablet users "skewed noticeably older than smartphone users. For both devices, the heaviest overall audience concentration was between the ages of 25-44. Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18-24."
More than half of tablet users watched video and/or TV on their devices in April, compared to 20 percent of the smartphone audience, comScore said.
"Not only were tablet users more likely to watch video, but they were more likely to view video habitually with 18.9 percent of tablet users watching video content at least once a week, and 9.5 percent watching video nearly every day on their device."
Among those looking at video at least once during a month, one in four said they paid to watch movies or TV on their tablets. That shows the "tremendous monetization potential this platform represents for content providers," comScore said.
ABI Research, in a March report, noted that worldwide, there are more than 220 tablet models on the market.
"While the Apple iPad remains the market leader in the media tablet segment, the buzz created by iPad has paved the way for more and more vendors to join the race, especially in the lower price segment," the company said.