The more common smartphones and tablets become, the more functions users find they can complete on their devices. Mobile phones have transitioned from a means of communication to full-blown computers, and the spread of the size of web-enabled devices and improvements in their operating power has made them increasingly able to handle the complex processes once reserved for personal computers and laptops.

With Amazon soon to release a new, fully functioning tablet, the online shopping industry may make a further shift to mobile devices. The web-based retail giant has enjoyed success with the Kindle e-reader, which correlates directly to the company's e-book sales. If the new tablet offers easy access to Amazon's mobile retail site (which it undoubtedly will), it may enjoy equal success.

The popularity of e-readers for periodical and book viewing may easily translate to catalogue-style shopping. Paper retail catalogues have remained in circulation despite years of widespread internet access and the ease of online shopping, perhaps because of the nostalgic custom of the media. A similar electronic version on a touch-screen tablet may lure shoppers to e-commerce.

Whether or not Amazon's tablet changes online shopping and becomes a big seller, the company is making a true foray into the tablet and mobile accessories market, which will change the budding industry.