iPad and Android media tablet users have become and will remain avid app users over the next five years, averaging more than 31 downloads per year per media tablet, according to a new report from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

A new market intelligence study on emerging tablet applications found that 11 of the 13.7 billion app downloads forecasted for iPad and Android media tablets in 2016 will be focused on four categories: games, digital publishing, social networking, and e-commerce.

“Media tablet app consumption will mimic smartphone app use in some ways, but in many ways, it will be very different,” says Mark Beccue, senior analyst, ABI Research. “Digital publishing of books, magazines, and newspapers will flourish on media tablets in a way never seen on smartphones. Increasingly, consumers will opt for the more versatile media tablet over dedicated eBook readers. Leveraging unparalleled interactivity and design, publishers will gain new readers, including seniors (ages 60+) – who won’t need custom, large-print publications anymore — and children (ages 1-9).”

E-commerce will be transformed by media tablets as significant numbers of consumers forego online shopping on desktop computers for shopping on media tablets, according to ABI Research. And while e-commerce will continue to depend on websites, apps will become increasingly important to shoppers who will take full advantage of the media tablet’s touchscreen interface and even camera and microphone capabilities. Media tablets will become increasingly popular with groups that haven’t been associated with computing or mobile devices in the past — seniors and young children.

“The magic of media tablets for seniors and children is the touch screen interface. It’s so intuitive,” adds Beccue. “These demographic groups will rely heavily on downloaded apps over web surfing on their media tablets.”

Apps designed for young children, such as books and interactive, educational games will become increasingly popular and may even propel media tablets to become the de facto replacement of personal DVD players, particularly in cars, says ABI Research. In 2016, nearly one billion media tablet apps designed for young children will be downloaded.