We have long believed that many Android devices wind up in desk drawers, gathering dust, while Apple gadgets go bopping around on the web. That suspicion was confirmed Friday morning by new browser data showing Android usage is down 13 percent while iOS use is up. The figures by Net Applications once more illustrate the many ways to pick winners and losers.

According to Net Applications, an Internet measurement firm that tracks browser usage, the percent of mobile browser using Android has fallen 13 percent after peaking at 28 percent in November 2012. By contrast, browsers on iOS rose since October 2012 following Apple introducing the iPhone 5 and iPad mini…

Today’s numbers appear to contradict Thursday’s figures released by research firm IDC.

We reported at the time that Samsung’s Android-based smartphones had more than doubled its market share, jumping to 15 percent of the tablet market from 7.3 percent in 2011. Additionally, IDC reported Apple’s 48.1 percent year-over-year growth was overwhelmed by Samsung’s Android entry.

Android Chrome statue (glowing eyes)
Android’s new gatekeeper is now fully operational at Googleplex.

Net Applications’ figures are being given more authority by observers such as Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

Unlike IDC, which seems to pull numbers out of thin air, Net Applications is actually counting something: The browser data from 160 million users per month weighted geographically according to the number of users in each country.

He noted that of the five tablet makers ranked by IDC, only Apple provides unit sales.

Android’s numbers are expected to rise once the next version code-named Key Lime Pie lands with Google’s Chrome as the default Chrome browser.

Until that happens, some people will always be quick to point out the discrepancy between Android winning the mobile battle and its low 24.5 percent share of web traffic.

Make sense?

  • Nice

  • Supafly_Boy

    Anytime I see a report with IDC, Strategy Analytics or Comscore in the title my eyes glaze over. Why anyone takes these clowns seriously is beyond me. All they ever do is pull numbers out of their ass*s and claim it as fact.

    • Lordthree

      These are really the ONLY important numbers. Androids market share is meaningless if people don’t use the devices.

      • Benny Green

        Who said they dont use their devices ? Does this so called comaprison take into account different browsers used on android devices ? Chrome, firefox, maxthon, dolphin hd just to name a few ?

      • Lordthree

        I’m sure it does. I use other browsers on iOS other than safari, but user agent still lists as iPhone.

  • Very nice g8 news !!!!

  • pauleebe

    Amazing what a larger screen and LTE can do.

  • At the end of the day, what really matters is the user experience, whatever device you choose. If you are happy with it, you’ll stick to it. 🙂 Personally, I don’t feel these or any other numbers affect me in any way.

    • Diego can you tell me if a person has an iphone and someone else put their icloud account on your phone can you delete their account from your phone without losing all you music?

  • The title of this article is misleading. Although this article does discuss the “war” between iOS and Android, saying “Android’s market share falls” is inaccurate, as this talks about the fact that mobile browsing traffic is down on Android, not market share.

    • Is it???

    • r3drox

      Indeed. I highly suspect it is because android phone browsers go unused and get replaced by other apps with generic user agents (thus no way to actually track android browser usage since they share user agents with their iOS counterparts.). Thus this comparison is quite misleading.

  • RedneckReg

    I’m not sure if this data is truly a “correct” sample of global browsing activity. I am a Android user but when I need to do heavy web browsing I switch over to my PC as I cannot stand using a small screen.

    I have however noted that some of my wife’s iPhone friends use their iPhone as their sole device and normally do not touch a PC. Could it be that the iPhone users are so enamored with their devices it would be considered taboo to use anything else, while Android users view their device as just a sync tool to a cloud infrastructure that can be accessed from any web enabled device?

  • Myles Crouther

    Is this report measuring the default android browser usage? Because if so, it could be to Google Chrome adoption. With newer versions of Android it is the default browser.

    • r3drox

      Its what I’m trying to tell them. Web traffic arguments dont work with Android. Unlike iOS where the default browser is the one and only true browser (only one allowed system access anyway) they have, Androids stock browser is shirked and replaced with 3rd party apps with user agents that are not taken into account. Until recently is when Chrome started replacing the stock browser as default.
      The IDC study isn’t a basis for market share at all.

  • Liam Mulcahy


  • Obsidian71

    Not surprised. As contracts end a lot of the Android owners I know want to get off the platform. Most of them feel like they got slammed into Android phones by their sales rep and are now wiser and more informed …which basically means they want iPhones.

    • Kurt

      I want the next Galaxy Note. iPhones blow. Featureless piece of crap. I can’t wait to smash my iPhone.

      • Obsidian71

        That’s a big phone. Are you compensating for something 😉

      • Kurt

        Yes, my featureless iPhone 😛

    • Altechi

      Personally will be trying windows phone when my contract ends, got my nexus 4 just in case Windows phone isn’t for me

  • android sucks…

  • Deleting any account from iCloud will remove photo stream and documents stored in iCloud (backup), but science the iPhones will automatically sync you will have his music on your iPhone and it will be backed up and he will keep his music but the iPhones will no longer sync

  • Kevin Niven


  • Selvakumar Manickam

    Seems to contradict the fact that almost 70% of people I know or met worldwide use Android device.