Posted October 11, 2011 5:08 am by with 0 comments

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The overwhelming majority of people on the internet got there by using a computer. But in the US, 6.8% of them got there using an alternate device. The majority of those people did it with their mobile phone, but an increasing number are using tablets and that percentage is rising fast.

comScore has just released a new whitepaper called “Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits.” It’s a long name for a data-loaded report that should interest anyone in mobile marketing (which should be anyone reading this post.)

Take a look at this chart:In just a few short months, tablet usage jump up from 22.5% to 28.1%, and they did it by eating into both the mobile and “other device” categories.

Right now, the study shows that tablet users are generally young, male and from upper income brackets. I’m none of those things, which is perhaps the reason I’m having trouble adjusting to mine. But thanks to Amazon’s new, reasonably priced tablet, it’s likely that the demographics will change radically, if not this year, then certainly by the end of 2012.

comScore says that much of the growth in tablet usage is due to the increase in WiFi availability. Now people can have their Egg McMuffin and their daily paper, too.

The comScore report shows among tablet owners, 1 in 4 uses it to access news. Two thirds of owners play games on their tablet and 3 out of 4 use the device to access their email.

Best of all, 48% of tablet owners said they’d used it to make a purchase in the past month. It gets better. Here’s a chart showing shopping related behaviors among tablet owners.

Nearly 50% also said they’d located, downloaded and used a coupon on the tablet in the past month. That says that even though tablet owners are usually more financially well-off, they still love a bargain.

comScore warns that even though tablet usage is growing, owners still represent a very small fraction of the US population. That means that, for now at least, you’ll have to cater to the digital omnivore, aka the consumer that uses a TV, PC, mobile phone and other devices in order to stay connected to the world.