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Android tugging on iPhone’s cape

Jun 17, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Quantcast reported a 4.6 percent jump in Android-driven mobile web traffic in North America over the last three months, while Apple's iPhone dropped 4.7 percent. Meanwhile, Chitika, using similar measurements, found that the Motorola Droid still dominates Android handsets with 33.75 percent traffic share, while Verizon owns 48 percent share of Android traffic by carrier.

Like AdMob, Quantcast and Chitika measure mobile web traffic in the North America based on advertising views. This reflects both the amount of web usage activity per platform as well as, to a certain extent, market penetration. According to Quantcast, Apple's iOS, which runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch, captured 58.8 percent of mobile web traffic in the U.S in May versus Android with 19.9 percent.

Research in Motion (RIM) was said to have trailed with 10.4 percent for its BlackBerry phones. Meanwhile, the "Other" category, which would include Windows Mobile, Symbian, and other Linux-based phones such as WebOS, was measured at 10.9 percent.

OS share of mobile web consumption , May 2010, North America
(Source: Quantcast)

Despite Apple's web dominance, Android is clearly the fastest growing mobile OS in web traffic, and is primarily stealing share from Apple. Android traffic jumped 12.2 percent over the last year, while iOS dropped 8.1 percent, says Quantcast. Over the last three months, Android picked up the pace even more, showing a 4.6 percent rise while iOS dropped 4.7 percent, says the study. 

OS share of mobile web consumption , 2009 and 2010, North America
Source: Quantcast
(Click to enlarge)

Today, Quantcast followed up with a U.K. version of the study showing that Apple's iOS is far more dominant than in the U.S., with 72.6 percent share. RIM is in second place with 10 percent, followed by Android with 7 percent, and Symbian with 5.6 percent. While Android has shown fairly flat growth over the last year and a half in the U.K., it did show a considerable boost over the last few months.

OS share of total (mobile and desktop) web consumption , 2009 and 2010, North America, including iPad

Source: Quantcast
(Click to enlarge)

Both studies exclude the iPad, which also runs iOS. After receiving requests to measure usage for the Apple tablet, however, the research firm yesterday added a chart that shows the iPad in a separate category, with all the mobile platforms compared to total web consumption, including desktops (see above). Here, the iPad appears to roughly match the BlackBerry, with about 0.1 percent of total web consumption, compared to well over 0.3 percent for Android and over 0.9 percent for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

 Chitika: Motorola Droid still rules, as Evo 4G starts fast

While Quantcast looked at web traffic by mobile OS, Chitika zeroed in on Android, looking at traffic share by handset as well as by carrier. Chitika derived its figures by evaluating a sample of 821,201 impressions from the first two weeks of June coming into its advertising network, which once again appears to cover North America.

As can be seen in the pie chart below, the Motorola Droid (pictured at right) continues to dominate in web traffic, just as it has ruled the roost in unit sales. The Verizon-sold Motorola Droid captured about a third of traffic, with 33.75 percent, followed by the mid-range, Sprint-deployed HTC Hero at 9.9 percent, and the similar Verizon-network HTC Droid Eris. Somewhat surprisingly, the original G1 is still in widespread use with 8.12 percent, followed by the 6.34 percent MyTouch 3G, which, like the G1, is offered by T-Mobile.

Android distribution (mobile traffic) by handset; based on sample of 821,201 impressions in first two weeks of June on Chitika's network

Source: Chitika
(Click to enlarge)

So far, none of the high-end phones appears close to matching the Droid for web traffic. Verizon's new Droid, the HTC Droid Incredible, has a fairly modest 4.76 percent after two months on Verizon, followed by 2.05 percent for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, 2 percent for the Nexus One, and 1.93 percent for the Sprint-offered HTC Evo 4G.

What's amazing about the Evo 4G, however, is that it's been on the market for less than two weeks. According to Sprint, it sold about 50,000 units of the "world's first 4G phone" on its June 4 launch date.

Android distribution (mobile traffic) by carrier; based on sample of 821,201 impressions in first two weeks of June on Chitika's network

Source: Chitika

Given these numbers, the breakdown by mobile provider is not so surprising (see above chart). Verizon has driven all three of its Droids to a 49 percent share of Android traffic, followed by T-Mobile with 23 percent, and Sprint with 19 percent. AT&T, which has only dabbled with a few mid-range Android phones as it continues to thrive with the iPhone, owns only 1.1 percent of Android traffic, even less than the relatively puny U.S. Cellular, which has 1.4 percent, says Chitika.

The Android handset breakdown appears to more or less echo AdMob's somewhat similar report in March. The mobile advertising and research firm found that Android was available on 34 different devices from 12 manufacturers, with the Motorola Droid leading U.S. traffic usage at 32 percent. The Hero came in second at 19 percent, followed by the Dream (G1) and Magic (the MyTouch 3G) at 11 percent, and the Motorola Cliq at 10 percent.

The March AdMob report also found that Android traffic had grown at a compounded monthly rate of 32 percent each month over the last year, increasing from 72 million ad requests in March 2009 to two billion in March 2010. Still, this was about a third of the traffic generated by the iPhone and iPod Touch, which together represented 6.1 billion requests in March, according to the research firm.


The Quantcast blog showing all three cited mobile traffic reports may be found here. The Chitika announcement of its Android handset and carrier study may be found here.

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