Apple iPad Users Generated 82.4% of U.S. Tablet Internet Traffic in May

| Analysis

Another month, another report showing that iPad owners use their iPads far more than owners of competing devices. Chitika reported on Monday that iPad owners generated 82.4 percent of traffic across the company's ad network in the U.S. during the month of May, a five month high that continues to leave little for iPad competitors.

As shown in the chart below, Amazon's Kindle Fire family was in the second spot with 6.5 percent of traffic, while Samsung's Galaxy Tab line was in third place with 4.7 percent. Entertainingly, the broad category of "Other Android Tablets" generated 0.9 percent of Web traffic for fifth place.

Chitika Chart

Chitika claims to serve 4 billion ads per month across 300,000 sites. The company's data is limited to its own network, and it uses these reports to promote its ad networks. That said, Chitika's mobile device usage share reports are consistent with every other metric released that shows iOS device owners doing more with their devices than owners of competing devices.

Time Out for Nexus

Check out the number four spot, "Google Nexus Tablets," referring to the line of devices made especially for Google by OEM partners and marketed under the "Nexus" brand. This is a line of devices that many—including The Mac Observer—have viewed favorably, though there have been recent reports of increased failures for the Google Nexus 7.

We are singling it out for commentary because usage appears high relative to Nexus's share of Android tablet sales. 1.6 percent is insignificant to Apple's iPad share, but considering that it's 78 percent more than all other Android tablets combined (not counting Samsung), it stands out against stunningly poor usage data of Android tablets as a whole.

Our gut instinct is that this is because people that buy Nexus devices tend to be plugged in, tech savvy, and knowledgable Android fans. Google sells them direct, so buying one not only requires making the choice to do so, it means you have to seek it out to do so. That makes Nexus owners self-selecting for active users, a concept backed up by this statistic.

Three Month View

Chitika also released a chart showing usage for the top three device families over the past three months, March, April, and May. That chart shows that usage share has remained steady. As noted above, Apple's share is the highest in five months, but it's only 1.4 percent higher than it was in January. Overall movement in usage share is relatively minor.

Chitika Chart

What's remarkable about these numbers is just how high Apple's total usage share is. Apple has about half (plus or minus a bit) of the tablet market in terms of devices shipped or sold, making 80 percent usage disproportionately high.

It begs the question we have often asked: what the heck are they doing with all those Android devices?

The answer is little or nothing, of course, something highlighted by the third chart Chitika released. That chart (below) shows a close-up of all of the other tablets outside the top three.

Chitika Chart

At first blush, it shows a fairly diverse spread of Internet usage across these devices. If you look at the scale, however, the top of the chart is just 1.8 percent of all usage making this chart a close look at a whole bunch of "who cares?"

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The title is a bit misleading. It implies 82.4% of ALL internet traffic, when in fact the data refers to 82.4% of TABLET internet traffic.


The headline is a lie; I thought TMO was above link bait, but unless this is an honest mistake, it qualifies.

Lee Dronick

I let context be my guide and assume that Bryan meant tablet traffic. It would be interesting to see a chart of mobile and desktop internet traffic.

Bryan Chaffin

It was a double mistake, omitting “U.S.” and “Tablet.” I meant to include both and wrote the article accordingly. I’ve now corrected the title.

Thanks for catching it!


I live in Spain. I know several families here with children. The parents all agree that the iPad is the best tablet there is, but don’t want to spend too much money on what they know will be an abused toy, so they buy an Android alternative. They then download a few free games and that’s what the child gets: no Internet access (although they come from homes with such access), but what amounts to nothing more than a cheapo games machine.

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