Android was the dominant smartphone operating system in the US during Q3 2012 according to data from Nielsen, commanding 52 percent of the market. This put Android substantially ahead of any other smartphone OS, including Apple, which held 35 percent of the market.

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Meanwhile, former major smartphone OS player Blackberry continued to show weakness, with only a 7 percent market share. Windows Phone has still not caught on, with a mere 2 percent share of the US smartphone OS market.

App preferences of Android and iPhone users were fairly similar during the first 10 months of 2012. Nielsen data shows that the top three Android apps were Google Search, Gmail and Facebook, while the top three iPhone apps were Google Maps, Facebook and YouTube.

While the positions were different, the top 10 app lists for users of both smartphone platforms included Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pandora Radio and The Weather Channel. Android users appear a little more practical, also including Adobe Reader and TaskKiller on their top 10 app list, while iPhone users favor Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Google and its properties took the lead in both overall web brand and online video destination rankings from January to October 2012. Google was the top-ranked web brand with an average of 172.6 million monthly unique visitors, followed by Facebook with almost 153 million monthly unique visitors and Yahoo with about 141.6 million monthly unique visitors.

Google-owned YouTube, which ranked fourth among all web brands with 128.3 million unique monthly visitors, also ranked first among all online video destinations with almost 132.5 million monthly unique viewers (tabulations for online video visits were conducted separately). Yahoo came in a distant second place with 39.7 million monthly unique viewers and VEVO ranked third with about 37.7 million monthly unique viewers.


YouTube displayed even more dominance in the disparity between its average monthly streams total (roughly 15 billion). The only other site in the top 10 list (ranked by average monthly viewers) to average even more than half that total was eighth-ranked Hulu with 832.5 million monthly streams and 14.6 million monthly viewers.

Consumers Respond to Facebook, But Not For Video

eMarketer analysis of Nielsen’s findings indicated that consumers “were responding to Facebook’s aggressive push into mobile this year,” as the fastest-growing iPhone apps of 2012 were Facebook-owned Facebook Messenger (+554%) and Instagram (+197%). eMarketer did note that Facebook rival Twitter was the fastest-growing Android app last year (+122%).

However, when it came to online video, eMarketer pointed out that “Internet portals remained bigger-time video destinations than Facebook -- both Yahoo! and AOL attracted more average monthly viewers and more streams per month.”

The Future of TV Looks Grim

As reported by CMSWire in July 2012 and substantiated by Nielsen’s latest findings, traditional television viewing is on the decline. Even when people use televisions as a device, they use connected devices to access Internet-based content via Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other digital providers. According to comScore, 84.8% of the US Internet audience viewed online video in June. We are quickly moving to a future where Internet viewing is the norm and traditional network programming is a significantly lagging second.