Android Gaining On Apple iOS For Mobile Browsing

Apple's mobile operating system accounted for 56% of mobile web activity in the U.S. at the end of August, while Android increased to 25%, according to Quantcast.

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Apple's iOS remains the leading mobile operating system in the United States for accessing the web, but Google's Android OS is catching up fast, a web metrics firm says. As of the end of August, iOS, which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, accounted for 56% of mobile web activity, while Android phones accounted for 25%, according to Quantcast. Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS accounted for 9%.

While Apple's lead appears strong, iOS has been losing ground to Android steadily over the last year, the firm said Friday. Over the last year, iOS use for accessing the web has fallen 11%, while Android has risen 17%. RIM's BlackBerry OS saw a 10% drop. Overall, people in the United States are increasingly using their smartphones to access the web. Research firm eMarketer projects that 85.5 million people will browse the web from their handsets this year, up from 83.5 million at the end of 2009. By 2013, the number of mobile web users is expected to climb to 142.1 million, or more than half of all the people with handsets, eMarketer said.

The numbers are important because as more mobile phone users head to the web, so will the opportunity for advertisers. In addition, retailers and other businesses will benefit in being able to offer services based on the location of the mobile phone users. An increasing number of mobile phones are shipping with GPS capabilities, leading the way to a proliferation in location-based services.

In a separate study released Friday, NetMarketshare found that iOS in August was used to browse the web more than Linux on a global basis. It was the first time the Apple OS had beaten the open source operating system. Android was behind iOS and Linux, but climbing fast.

In releasing the latest findings, NetMarketshare said it had changed the way it tracks iOS. Rather than track Apple's iOS devices separately, the web metrics firm is now grouping them all together.


Smartphones Driving Surge In Mobile Web

Apple iPhone Use Shrinks, Android Grows

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