By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: A new report today has revealed the state of the online market saying that mobile internet penetration has reached 50 per cent and will gather momentum due to the expected proliferation of tablet devices.

Mobile internet uptake will be bolstered by tablet computers, e-readers, connected games devices, other hybrid forms and smartphones, which currently have a 35 per cent penetration in Australia, according to the Nielsen State of the Online Market: Evolution or Revolution report.

At present, 8 per cent of the population has a tablet device and this figure is expected to triple in the next year, marking a ‘turning point’ in internet usage, said Lillian Zrim, senior research manager for Nielsen Online.

“Following in the footprint of the smartphones evolution, tablets are another device to watch as a potential game changer,” said Zrim.

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“The screen size is already attracting a slightly different pattern of behaviour to that of a smartphone, with a far greater proportion of tablet owners watching online video on their device. Ownership is already at 8 per cent of online Australians; however purchase intentions are expected to more than triple tablet ownership by the end of 2011, with some of the strongest intention to purchase coming from households with children.”

“Online Australians continue to increase their consumption of rich media content online, with 71 per cent accessing audio or video content online in 2010 and 35 per cent doing so on a weekly basis. The proportion of those consuming video content online increased from 41 per cent in 2009 to 60 per cent in 2010.”