Apple iPad, iOS Dominate Mobile Web Traffic

3 minute read
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Market research from ComScore suggests that Apple's iOS platform is even more popular than expected. Both Apple's tablet and smartphone platforms dominate in their respective markets, in terms of mobile web access.

A report released by ComScore earlier this week indicates that mobile web traffic in the U.S. is growing, and is currently at 6.8%, which accounts for "non-computer traffic." Two-thirds of this figure comprises smartphones, while the rest mostly comes from tablet computers. This is where Apple's iPad shines, getting an astounding 97.2% of all web traffic from tablet computers.

In fact, the iPad even dominates its own platform. ComScore's figures indicate that among iOS users -- which includes the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch -- 46.8% of web traffic comes from the iPad. In comparison, the iPhone gets a 42.6% share.

ComScore's senior vice president of mobile, Mark Donovan, says that smartphones and tablets have contributed to an explosion in digital media consumption. "As these devices gain adoption, we have also seen the rise of the 'digital omnivores' -- consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily lives."

Numbers That Matter

It's no secret that Android is currently the leading smartphone platform in terms of sheer numbers. Android currently holds a 43.7% share as of August, 2011. However, ComScore found out that iOS remains to be the more dominant platform when it comes to device connectivity. iOS gets a 43.1% share, while Android has 34.1% and RIM 15.4%.

Learning Opportunities

The same can also be said for mobile web traffic, which ComScore measured in terms of browser page views. iOS gets a 58.5% share, while Android has 31.9%. As such, even if Android were dominant in the smartphone market, not everyone is using their mobile phones to access the Internet.

AppleInsider speculates that the figures lean toward iOS dominance because Android smartphone manufacturers are installing the mobile operating system even on basic, low-end mobile phones, which act like feature-phones meant for making calls, sending SMS and doing light personal information management work. As such, not all Android users are heavy mobile web browsers.

Other Highlights

The ComScore study also highlights several interesting findings about the U.S. mobile market.

  • Increased WiFi availability and better data plans help drive persistent connectivity. ComScore finds that more and more tablet computers are connecting through their own data access rather than WiFi;
  • Half of the total U.S. population uses mobile media, a 19% growth from last year's figure;
  • Almost half of tablet owners have made a purchase on their tablet;
  • About 60% of tablet owners read news on their tablets; and,
  • About 60% of tablet users access social networks through their devices.

Tablets are increasingly eating into the market share of desktop and notebook computers, and mobile Internet access will grow steadily as more and more users move toward consuming and creating content on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. With this, ComScore advises that consumers, advertisers and publishers should "learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences."