Tablets are transforming how consumers and brands interact on the web, off­ering an experience that's more engaging than smartphones and competitive to desktop computers.

Adobe's latest Digital Index Report has predicted a rosy future for the tablet market, as it predicts visits to websites by tablet owners will surpass smartphone visits by January 2013, and will account for 10% of website visits by early 2014.

Tablets to outpace smartphones by 2013
Tablets to outpace smartphones by 2013

The Digital Index report analysed around 23 billion visits to the websites of more than 325 brands in North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific from 2010-2012 and concluded that, "tablets are reshaping how consumers engage with brands online, competing with—but not yet replacing—PCs, while becoming a distinct and superior channel to smartphones."

During the period 2010-1012 the share of website visits from tablets grew approximately 10 times faster than the rate of smartphones.

Adobe 2012 Tablet visits compared to smartphone visits
Tablet visits compared to smartphone visits

Within one year of the iPad launch, (Q2 2010 through Q1 2011), tablet visits represented 1% of total website visits, reaching 4.3% of total visits just one year later, an increase of 330%. In contrast, within the first two years of the iPhone market entry, smartphones accounted for 0.4% of total website visits, taking nearly three years to reach 1% of total visits.

One tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones

One tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones
One tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones

The report also reveals that tablet users are heavier web users than smartphone users, by as much as four to one. Although smartphone users generate more page visits than tablet users - 6.1% and 4.3% of total website visits, respectively by the end of Q1 2012 - the number of tablets shipped across North America and Western Europe is much smaller than the number of smartphones shipped, and when the numbers were crushed, Adobe found that for every brand website visit made with a smartphone, four visits are made using a tablet.