iPad Owns 91% of Tablet Web Traffic; Nook Passes Kindle Fire

Ad network firm Chitika released a new report this week with two interesting tidbits: the first is that the iPad is responsible for more than 91 percent of media tablet Web traffic, even though Apple has only about 70 percent of the tablet market. The second is that Barnes & Noble’s Android-based Nook tablet has passed last year’s budget darling, Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The company’s data was pulled from “hundreds of millions of impressions” from its own mobile advertising network, the Chitika Ad network from June 4th, 2012 to June 10th 10th, 2012. The company then broke down the traffic coming from tablets—Apple’s iPad was responsible for so much of the traffic, it had to be presented as what every other device did compared to 100 iPad impressions, as shown in the graph below.

Chitika Chart

(Click for a slightly larger and more legible version)

“We found that 91.07% of tablet web traffic comes from iPad devices,” Chitika said in its report. “While the iPad still accounts for a great majority of tablet web traffic, it has fallen about 3.5% from the 94.64% figure we reported in early May.”

The company said the rise in non-iPad alternatives was responsible for the slight decline in iPad’s share of traffic on the company’s network, but we were curious about why Apple has such a disproportionate share of that traffic in the first place.

“This data suggests a number of potential trends and behavioral mechanics of tablet users, including [people who buy competing products, but stop using them, or simply find that the Internet experience is not very good and stop using them to surf the Web],” the company told The Mac Observer.

A company spokesperson added that, “Another potential insight that can be drawn from this data is that people who buy iPad’s may be more likely as a whole to be more active on the Web, hence the higher share of usage. In contrast, the Kindle Fire and Nook are marketed as e books and users may be more likely to be spend more time reading and less on the Web.”

Back to the Future

Looking forward, Chitika believes that Apple’s share of Web traffic will decline to be more in line with the iPad’s share of the tablet market. When TMO asked the basis for this belief, Chitika said that it believes that other devices will catch up, “in terms of functionality, usability, and accessibility (in terms of both hardware and software).”

This is a view held by other industry watchers, many of whom have predicted that the media tablet market will go the way of the smartphone market, where Android (and even Windows 8) will eventually tip some kind of balance in terms of features and capabilities.

Chitika is in this camp, and the company told TMO that, “A primary example of this would be the smartphone market and the evolution it has undergone over the last few years. The Apple iPhone started out as a highly differentiated product yet over time its competitors such as Motorola and Samsung using the Android OS have begun to eat away at their market share.”

“Even though [Apple] still remain dominant, the disparity is not the same as it used to be, and we believe the tablet market will follow a similar trend,” the company added.

Barnes & Noble vs. Kindle Fire

As for Barnes & Noble, Chitika said that Amazon’s Kindle Fire had 0.71 percent of Web traffic, well behind distant number two, Samsung, who was rip-roaring away at 1.94 percent of Web traffic. Kindle Fire hasn’t lost any share, but Barnes & Noble’s Nook share increased to 0.85 percent of tablet Web traffic, enough for…sixth place.

John Martellaro contributed to this article.