iOS Web Traffic Share Now Over 60%

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iOS reached a new high in October, accounting for over 60% of the mobile/tablet share of Web traffic. Android was in second-place with under 20%. Net Applications released its data for October and iOS led the field with 61.64%. Android was in second with 18.90%. Java ME was the only other system with a double-digit percentage of 12.84%. Symbian, BlackBerry, and “Others” were also-rans.

Mobile/Tablet Operating System Share - October 2011

Chart by The Mac Observer from data provided by Net Applications

The iOS market share was up from 54.65% in September and from 44.34% in October 2010. Android was the only other operating system that also grew during those times. The rest have all seen declines.

October was an eventful month for the iOS platform with the release of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S. Both were released mid-month and certainly must have had an impact on the numbers. It should be noted that iOS is used on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

In the chart below, you can see that two platforms are steadily gaining share, Android and iOS. Java ME Symbian have been declining steadily sice early 2010 while BlackBerry has held steady, until recently. iOS has made significant gains since the spring and summer of 2010, coinciding with the release of the iPad and iPhone 4. Android has also gained, but at a steadier clip.

Mobile/Tablet Top Operating System Share Trend

Chart by The Mac Observer from data provided by Net Applications

Comments

wab95

Curious and counterintuitive finding, given Android’s superior marketshare. It would seem to indicate how devices on the two top platforms (iOS and Android) are being used, or not.

skipaq

There are two products that have a lot to do with this. First, the iPod Touch is a wi-fi device that kids use on the web. Second, the iPad so dominates the tablet market and is used to consume web content that it also skews the results toward iOS. Android simply has not come up with an answer for the iPad as yet.

wab95

There are two products that have a lot to do with this.

Agreed, but I’m looking at the delta.

If smartphone use patterns were similar across both platforms, and Android dominates smartphone marketshare, iPhone use should be lower than that for Android, meaning that yawning gap is made up entirely, and then some, by the iPad.  I don’t buy it.

I realise there is more nuance, as one quarter of the tablet market is now Android (by shipping - we do not know purchases).

Rather, my point is that this reflects a behavioural, and not marketshare, differential. This just underscores my belief that the Android and iOS instal base are two largely different demographics, as defined by behaviour.

RonMacGuy

wab95, one in four smartphones is still an iPhone. Sure android has the largest smartphone market share, but it is easy to see iPad and iPod Touch easily offsetting the differential, and then some. Actual tablet use still puts iPad easily 85%-90%. There may be a small behavioral impact (probably the still-perceived ease of use and simplicity of browsing the web on an iDevice) but I suspect it is negligible compared to the iPad/iPod Touch market share.

If behavioral impact is in fact a part of this, then I would say that implies that a ton of people are buying less expensive, entry-level android smartphones to have a cool-looking “iPhone alternative”, paying $30 a month in data fees, and using the phone as a cell phone/text phone. Sad, but this is sort of like the supposed “people buy an iPhone for the coolness factor” but for android now. People buy an android phone so they are cool “smartphone enabled” people but don’t really use it. It also proves that iOS device purchasers are not just buying them to “be cool” but to actually use the device. Good study. Thanks Julie.

geoduck

A couple interesting things I noticed:
BlackBerry is unchanged since November 2009. PlayBook, all those really “cool” new models like the torch, none of that seem to have made any difference.. Last week RIM announced the big update to the Playbook would be delayed until the first half of 2012. Too little too late. RIM is toast.
Symbian is declining. That’s to be expected given Nokia’s deal with MS. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next year now that Nokia actually has some WinPhones.
Speaking of WinPhone, it’s conspicuous by its absence.

Lee Dronick

People buy an android phone so they are cool ?smartphone enabled? people but don?t really use it. It also proves that iOS device purchasers are not just buying them to ?be cool? but to actually use the device.

Has any of the regulars here had experience with both iOS and Android, and can speak on the ease of use for each? If Android is a pain to use then that could explain why its web presence is slow low. I ask for regulars because you have blog cred with me, a visitor popping in and dropping talking points usually has a different agenda.

skipaq

I don’t think there would be a ease of use issue with a browser on Android. I could be a wise guy and say it was due to Flash on Android. However, one would think that this huge selling feature of Flash would lead to a whole lot of web viewing. Why that isn’t showing up is beyond me. The horde of Android smartphone users don’t surf much for some reason.

RonMacGuy

The horde of Android smartphone users don?t surf much for some reason.

Too busy playing with those free apps with all the built-in advertisements!!

Who needs to browse when all the ads come to you!!

wink

Ever

This is a dump comparison, web traffic <> smartphone OS share.  Also, that traffic include all those people that use they ipad to watch Netflix or any other streaming media.

Anyway, this article is not accurate.

Lee Dronick

Anyway, this article is not accurate.

Then point us to some accurate data.

mhikl

Rather, my point is that this reflects a behavioural, and not marketshare, differential.

GrannyDroidrs haven?t figured out the fixin?s, yet.

Too busy playing with those free apps with all the built-in advertisements!!

Poignant, Ron!!

Speaking of WinPhone, it?s conspicuous by its absence.

The plot thickens.

BurmaYank

I don?t think there would be a ease of use issue with a browser on Android. I could be a wise guy and say it was due to Flash on Android. However, one would think that this huge selling feature of Flash would lead to a whole lot of web viewing. Why that isn?t showing up is beyond me. The horde of Android smartphone users don?t surf much for some reason.”

I hear online porn is an enormous market, and apparently it is entirely Flash-dependent.  So, perhaps a big fraction of the Android smartphone buyers are porn-seekers.  Perhaps many of them are outraged against iOS mainly because of that.

I also hear Flash works quite poorly on all Android OSes/EOMs for various reasons, and actually extremely poorly on most Androids.  So those porn-seeking Android-buyers would not be getting to use their smartphone’s web-access for what they primarily got them for.  I don’t actually know one way or the other how true this might be, though.

But if so, how frustrated must such porn-seekers become before they’d begin to abandon the Android neighborhood in significant numbers?  I’d guess that their motivating drives & desires would keep outweighing their common sense, even after they see how unsatisfactory their Android-porn-viewing actually is.  They’d just keep going to where the porn is supposed to be, regardless of reality. 

This would be one possible explanation for why there are so many Android smartphone buyers, who apparently don’t use their web access in any very significant way.

deV14nt

NEWSFLASH: People browse the web more often on tablets (which iOS dominates) than on phones (which Android dominates).

Meaningful data is only obtained when you separate the 2 markets.

wab95

Meaningful data is only obtained when you separate the 2 markets.


The only meaningful data are hard data, obtained from empirical observation.

I agree, however; this is one instance in which disaggregation would be informative.

All of the explanations above are perfectly reasonable. Speaking as someone who conducts research for a living, I can tell you that the plausible, sensible explanation is, more often than not, not the one borne out by investigation, but instead one that both surprises and often delights the investigators because it takes everyone back to school and teaches us new things.

A well designed survey should be neither hard nor expensive to conduct.

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