It hasn't even been two years since the first widely popular consumer tablet hit the market, but the devices are already making a big impact.
Among people who own an iPad or other tablet computer, many of them are engaging with other, older forms of media less than they used to, according to a new study by GfK MRI. Unsurprisingly, printed books, newspapers and magazines are being read less by tablet owners, who now have a wealth of new digital sources of news, magazine content and eBooks.
It's not just analog media that people are ignoring in favor of their tablets. Desktop and laptop computers are used less often by those who own tablets.
Taking an even bigger hit than all of the above, however, are video game consoles. Fifty-nine percent of tablet owners said they use gaming consoles like the XBox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation less frequently than they used to. Instead, they're playing more games on their tablets.
Although the iPad and other emerging platforms don't quite have the same selection of video games offered on more traditional consoles, they've given birth to whole new generation of mobile games, from the simple, yet addictive Angry Birds to more complex, immersive games akin to something you'd see on an established console platform. Of the top twenty most popular paid iPad apps in the iTunes App Store, half of them are games, three of which are different versions of Angry Birds.
This trend toward tablet-based gaming, reading and Web browsing is only beginning. The first iPad was only launched last year, with the second one coming out in 2011, to much success. In November, Amazon will start shipping its own tablet, which is less than half the cost of the iPad and is designed specifically for purchasing and consuming books, video, news, magazines and games.