Tablets may share the mobile spotlight with smartphones and are powered by the same operating software, but how we use them is significantly different.
That's the gist of new mobile data traffic figures from networking giant Cisco, which reveal that the iPad and its like suck up five times as much data on average as the typical smartphone.
Cisco's Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast reveals that over the year 2010, the average tablet user consumed 405MB of data per month, compared to just 79MB per month from smartphone users.
It reinforces the perception that tablets are primarily used for entertainment and media consumption, while smartphones are more typically productivity devices – one obvious reason being the greater suitability of tablets' larger screens for watching video.
Analyst Goldman Sachs reckons the steady increase in tablet sales will see the sector accounting for 17% of all data consumption by the year 2020, and the average tablet going from using 1.5GB of data today to 20GB by the end of the decade.