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The iPad will finally go on sale next month, and while we’ve heard predictions of great success from Rupert Murdoch, internet giant Yahoo! doesn’t just think the tablet will become the go to place for all media. It reckons it’ll cause a sea change in human behaviour, and how we use the web.

Yahoo! unveiled the findings of its latest research into mobile internet use today, based on data analysis and surveys of thousands of people across the UK. While they make for interesting reading (The average mobile web browsing session is now longer than five minutes), the search company’s head of trade research, Patrick Hourihan, made some bold predictions about the impact of the iPad and other upcoming tablets.

“The future for both PC and mobile is touch,” he told journalists and marketing execs at a conference in London today. “We’re now on the verge of a touch revolution, which has started faster on the mobile platform faster than the PC, although the HP tablet and the iPad both launch later this year.”

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What will the iPad trigger? Hourihan said it’ll speed up a trend already underway: the desire for both “instant entertainment” and the “desire for the real web anywhere”. Any companies who don’t get with the game plan and start making touchscreen optimised websites with desktop functionality, if not experience, will get left behind.

“There’s not a single brand, advertiser or digital proposition that will not be affected by the step change in human behaviour that will occur as consumers adopt to these new touch devices,” he said.

We cornered Hourihan afterwards to pick his brains on the future of the web in an iPad era, and he told us that it and other tablet would have a “major impact”, forcing websites to provide a “seamless experience regardless of the device…there’s no denying that touch will make everything change.”

Yahoo! is already at work on an iPad app, so it’s good to know the company is taking its own findings into account. Now, where are those native iPad apps from Google?

Out April | £TBC | Apple and Yahoo!

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