By  on May 23, 2012

Smartphones remain a crucial tool for retailers looking to influence shoppers’ paths through malls and stores, but it’s tablets that are quickly gaining the stronger grip on consumer spending.

According to the 2012 Mobile Commerce Survey set to be released by the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division and Forrester Research today, 137 million U.S. consumers own smartphones that collectively accounted for just 1.5 percent of sales on the Web last year. Meanwhile, less than half the number of consumers, 61 million, own tablets but they generated more than twice the percentage of sales last year — 3.2 percent.

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