Android Lost Ground In November - InformationWeek
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12/20/2011
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Android Lost Ground In November

After two years on the rise, Google declined in mobile ad impressions in November. Will the Kindle Fire reverse the recent trend?

There are multiple ways to measure the success of a platform. Sales is certainly one way, but usage can be just as important. Google Android still dominates ad impressions, but it fell over 10% in November, dropping from 56% to 50%. Apple and RIM were the biggest benefactors of Android's fall.

Millennial Media's November report shows that while Android dropped, iOS grew from 28% to 30%. Apple was no doubt helped by the launch of the iPhone 4S in October. Research In Motion saw the biggest growth, jumping from 13% to 17%. RIM launched the BlackBerry 7 platform several months ago and has been rolling out devices like the Curve, Bold, and Torch. The improved browser in the platform, which includes HTML5 video support, has apparently encouraged its users to spend more time surfing.

When it comes to specific phones, the iPhone still reigns supreme. The iPhone represented 13.54% of total impressions. Keep in mind, though, that this figure really includes at least three phones, the 3GS, 4, and 4S, all of which are still being sold. With the exception of a few features on new devices, they all run the same platform, iOS 5.

The BlackBerry Curve came in second with 5.87% of the market. RIM captured five spots in the top 20. Android held the other 14. WebOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, and Bada didn't place at all.

Among connected device manufacturers, Apple was again in the top spot, garnering 25.66% of impressions. This includes the iPad and iPod Touch. Samsung was the number two manufacturer, which would combine all of the tablets and smartphones from the Galaxy line.

Missing from the list of manufacturers is Amazon. The Kindle Fire is one of the hottest devices this holiday season, but it didn't have an appreciable number of users in November browsing the Web. It may be too early to judge, though as the Fire wasn't released until mid-November. The report does say that impressions for the tablet are growing faster than the iPad's were when it launched in early 2010. Expect Amazon to make an appearance on the December report.

Do you think the Fire, which runs a heavily modified version of Android, will stem Android's losses or will Apple and RIM continue to show gains?

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Nite-Owl
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Nite-Owl,
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12/22/2011 | 3:54:07 PM
re: Android Lost Ground In November
With the 4S out in the market, I expect Apple to show significant sales in December. However, there will be a lot of Fires burning holes in stockings this Christmas. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
lugnut
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lugnut,
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12/21/2011 | 8:59:47 PM
re: Android Lost Ground In November
Two thoughts ...

First, Fire is so heavily modified, that calling it an "Android" device isn't truly accurate; customers don't think "I'm buying the Kindle Fire because it runs Android", they think "I'm buying a Kindle Fire so I can watch movies and buy books from Amazon." Calling it an Android device is kinda like saying you're buying a Mazda pickup because it's built by Ford -- only car geeks know that.

Second, since the Millennial Media reports are presumably based on User Agent strings tied to pageviews, I wonder what -- if any -- effect Apple's Siri assistant technology has impacted (negatively?) those figures, since it's now often possible for Siri to present the desired answer without the user ever viewing the web page in Safari. One would assume that Siri has done a search to find an answer, but I don't know what kind of User Agent string it uses for that, nor whether it only queries Apple's servers, which either generate the results, or whether that request is passed along to non-Apple servers ... or what the UA string is if passed along.

Interesting stats, though. Thanks for sharing.
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