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Tablets surpass smartphones in driving global Web traffic

For devices that hit the market just three years ago, they're doing pretty well, generating 8 percent of all Internet traffic.

Adobe Digital Index

The numbers are out -- people increasingly prefer to browse the Internet on tablets rather than smartphones.

Adobe released its latest Digital Index today and discovered that for the first time ever worldwide tablet traffic has surpassed smartphone traffic. Tablets now drive 8 percent of all Internet traffic, while smartphones generate 7 percent.

"We've been keeping a close eye on how quickly tablets have taken off," manager and primary analyst working on Adobe Digital Index Tyler White wrote in a blog post today. "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 percent more pages per visit when browsing with a tablet compared to a smartphone."

To get these numbers Adobe tracked 100 billion visits to more than 1000 Web sites worldwide since June 2007. While both smartphone and tablet traffic are on the rise, global desktop Web traffic is still king -- driving 84 percent of all online use.

What's interesting about tablet traffic taking off is that the devices are fairly new on the scene. Adobe only added them to its category list three years ago and the first Apple iPad was introduced in 2010, while the first Kindle Fire was released in 2011.

Of the countries Adobe surveyed -- U.K, U.S., China, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, and Germany -- the U.K. has been the quickest adopter of tablet use for the Web. Users in Japan and China still prefer to surf on their smartphones.

Despite slower adoption in some countries, Adobe found that all countries saw tablet traffic double in the past year. And, the company expects these figures to just keep growing in the years to come.

Adobe Digital Index