iOS Boosts Web Traffic, U.S. Market Share - InformationWeek
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11:54 AM

iOS Boosts Web Traffic, U.S. Market Share

Apple iPhones and iPads snagged 69% of mobile Web traffic in April, despite Android's advantage in device market share.

5 Apple iPad 5 Wishes
5 Apple iPad 5 Wishes
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Apple's iOS is the number one platform when it comes to surfing the mobile Web. New data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster shows that iOS made gains against Google's Android platform during the course of the last 30 days.

Muster reported that iOS snagged 69% of all mobile Web traffic for the month of April. Apple iOS saw a slight uptick compared to its share of mobile Web traffic in March, when it held 66.4%. Android dipped a bit during the same period, coming down from 28.7% in March to 26.5% during April. A small decrease, but a drop just the same.

But wait, doesn't Android outsell iOS by a huge percentage in the U.S. at this point? Yes it does, but Munster has a few thoughts about that.

For starters, the data includes browsing behavior from both smartphones and tablets. Munster contends that iPad owners are much more apt to use their devices to surf the mobile Web when compared to those who own Android-based tablets. Munster also thinks that iOS users -- specifically, iPhone owners -- are "more engaged" with their devices on a day-to-day basis than are owners of Android smartphones (whatever that means). Also, the Web traffic data comes from the U.S., where Apple has been more successful at selling iPhones in greater percentages than it has in markets outside the U.S. Last, the data compiled traffic results from only the top 10 of the top 100 websites.

[ iPad's diminutive little brother is winning the popularity contest with consumers. Read iPad Mini Eating iPad's Lunch. ]

In other words, Munster's methodology gave Apple's iOS a bit of an advantage. He's not the only analyst with a bullish cast on Apple. Horace Dediu believes Apple could reverse iOS's downward trend when compared to Android.

Dediu believes the U.S. market is nearing its smartphone saturation point, with 80% of all new devices expected to be smartphones by October 2014. That means hardware vendors will be fighting to snag people upgrading from smartphone to smartphone, rather than buying their first smartphone. Here, he gives iOS an edge thanks to what he attributes as the iPhone's rabid loyalty.

ComScore's data backs up Dediu's beliefs to a degree. Its latest information shows that of the 136.7 million Americans who owned a smartphone during the three months ending in March, 39% of them own iPhones. Despite the inexhaustible supply of new Android devices, the percentage of iPhones actually grew from 36.3% during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Google's Android platform shrank from 53.4% of all smartphones in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2012, to 52% during the first quarter of 2013. Debiu thinks this shows that Android has peaked, at least in the U.S. It's possible.

However you look at it, iOS has made some gains, albeit small ones, against Android in recent months.

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User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 6:55:49 PM
re: iOS Boosts Web Traffic, U.S. Market Share it seems that Android users not only subsidize IOS by offsetting the much more expensive buy-in for IOS customer equipment subsidies(we must since the subsidy for IOS is higher but the plan prices and contract lengths are the same), but now - based on your data, it appears that we use less bandwidth as well. Guess that sort of makes IOS a bunch of 'welfare queens' then in terms of their impact on carrier resources vs. what they actually pay in. In addition, their bandwidth consumption will likely play a larger role in driving carrier equipment upgrade costs which will be passed onto to all the carrier's customers since IOS usage is impacting carrier back-haul to a larger extent than less consumption-driven platforms. Unfortunately, you seem to be presenting this as a good thing. Maybe IOS data plans should be more expensive than plans for other platforms.
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