NetApplications (mobile web share Q120130

Despite Apple’s iPad growing 65.3 percent year over year, the company’s share of the total tablet market dropped from the 58.1 percent a year ago to an IDC-estimated 39.6 percent during the first quarter of this year, largely thanks to Apple not participating in the sub-$300 segment.

The rise of these cheap tablets improved Google platform’s web usage share, with Android smartphones and tablets now owning 26 percent of all web traffic, a 35 percent annual gain as measured by research firm NetApplications.

In other words, one out of each four mobile devices used on the web are Android-branded, though Apple’s iPhone and iPad still account for a commanding 59.4 percent of the Internet’s traffic generated by mobile devices…

According to NetApplications data shared Wednesday and highlighted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt over at Fortune, Apple’s share of tablet/smartphone web usage declined 5.6 percent in February 2013 before gaining 6.5 percent in March 2013.

“NetApplications doesn’t offer an explanation for either anomaly, and there may not be one beyond random statistical noise,” De-Witt noted.

NetApplications derives its web usage numbers based on visits to the 40,000 web sites that participate in its network.

NetApplications (mobile web share Q12013, pie chart)

As you can see in the above pie chart, Windows Phone has finally managed to beat BlackBerry, though Microsoft mobile platform is still far behind Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in terms of web usage share.

As for Android’s growth, the rise of really inexpensive Android tablets coupled with Samsung’s increased distribution for smartphones that consequentially resulted in improved availability of its tablets, explains the platform’s web usage share gains.

According to IDC, while Apple’s iPad sales grew 65 percent, Samsung’s shipments rose 280 percent. In turn, the iPad’s market share dipped below 40 percent for the first time. One caveat: Apple’ quarterly earnings disclose iPad sales, but Samsung’s do not so IDC’s Galaxy shipments are actually estimates.

IDC tablets (Q1 2013, chart 001)
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

Additionally, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported Monday that Google’s Android averages a 64 percent unit share of the smartphone market across ten countries, basically owning two-thirds of smartphone sales.

However, that particular survey should be taken with a grain of salt as Kantar’s parent firm, UK-based WPP Group, has a marketing deal with Samsung, the top-selling Android smartphone maker.

No matter how you look at it, Android’s web use is disproportionally small compared to the platform’s growth in terms of shipments. So despite owning well over 50 percent of the mobile market, Android still generates less traffic on the web versus iDevices.

To me, this is yet another indication that Apple’s users are more active on the web and use their devices frequently. Oh, and Apple must be doing something right because iOS in March 2013 rose nearly seven percent in NetApplications data versus the previous month.

  • Gorgonphone

    hats cause IOS devices still have the best user experience of all..

    • iOops

      If it was due to the user experience, then they would be using apps and the UI, not the web.

      • Browsing on mobile safari and google chrome on iPhone are awesome. Android chrome is almost as good, how is that possible?
        Almost is not acceptable on my nexus 4 it just feels like the animations aren’t smooth enough and the keyboard makes using it unpleasant

      • iOops

        I use Chrome quite elusively on my iPhone 5, and Galaxy S4 (Octa core variant), and both perform top notch in all respects.

        The nexus 4, which is a fraction of the iPhone 5’s cost, is sluggish and quite a bad phone (IMO) compared to the competition. I am not a fan of the dark, stock Android, nor the default keyboard. At least you can replace the launcher (UI), and keyboards via the google play store for those devices, so that is a plus.

        I LOVE iPhone, but I am excessively bored of it’s UI, so switched to the S4, which was a great upgrade path. Next year may be the S5, or iPhone 6, we will see.

      • I love iOS and Android and use them both just as much but what really bugs me about Android are the inconsistencies in there apps. I think they have a good UI not the best for my taste. What really gets me is the over crowded status bar. I also understand why most apps aren’t as good as iPhone because they have to be designed for the lowest common denominator, but still I wish Google would enforce stricter App development guidelines. It reminds of Windows compared to OSX it just not as beautiful. Like I said the UI is good but it can be great. Imagine every developer trying to develop for 1000 android phones while optimizing for each specific model, I mean thats gotta be stressful. Either way I hope Android could be as polished in all aspects and not just in UI.

      • iOops

        Being an app developer for Android and iOS, I have to admit that the Google policies are very strict now, as with Apple. (At the beginning, Google accepted everything without any review which polluted the android market with complete crap).

        The google fragmentation is not a real issue now, like it was in the beginning when Android was still young. If you still use one of the older apps, it will upscale which is ugly as sin, but most of those apps (if still being developed) should support the newer, higher resolutions – down sampling to work with cheaper devices, but still maintaining the quality and aspect ratio, making the app (or game) look great.

        Thankfully, developers do not need to develop for 1000 devices, much like you don’t need to do that for Apple either. It’s all a common API between vendors. Google has done a bang-up job with this.

        I still don’t like the dark Android native theme, but i do like how TouchWiz looks, as with HTC Sense.

      • yahmed

        When you said “It’s just not beautiful”, did you mean Windows or OSX?

      • Windows is not as beautiful

      • iOops

        Being a mac guy, I have to agree with your sentiment.

      • yahmed

        iPhone 5S coming in a few months with similar design, fingerprint sensor and ios 7 which will have completely changed UI with other hardware upgrades.

      • iOops

        I don’t need a fingerprint sensor, and have all the power I need on my SG4, however I am interested in iOS7 and will roll it out on my iDevices when it is released.

      • yahmed

        Yeah iOS 7, rumoured to have a flatter design and iPhone 6 next year. Expecting great work from Jony Ive.

      • iOops


      • Gorgonphone

        iphone rules

      • iOops

        Iphone 5 is not half bad either, nor is the Galaxy S4 for that mater.

  • Now this is just cheating:

    “Apple’ quarterly earnings disclose iPad sales, but Samsung’s do not so IDC’s Galaxy shipments are actually estimates.”

    Samsung if you’re so confident in your product release your sales figures otherwise just get out. Don’t make companies estimate how much people you’ve brainwashed with your plastic rubbish though as that is just not on. Then again when has Samsung ever played fairly (fairly as in by the rules)…

    • wheebang

      Only insecure apple fanboys NEED these figures. The rest of the Apple and Android community could care less, as they are quite comfortable and confident in their purchase decisions and don’t need reinforcement that they made the right choice.

      • iOops

        That’s one way to look at it, and more or less true. The sales figures are of no real value except to investors. Regardless if the stats are good or bad, they will not sway the purchase decisions of those looking to get a new phone or tablet (be it the robot, or fruit variety)