Despite Android web traffic increasing, Apple devices generate more web traffic

May 2, 2013
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Android vs iOS

Not long ago, the most common way to hop aboard the information super highway was through the PC. As mobile devices continue to outpace the PC market, that just isn’t true anymore.

So what mobile platform generates the biggest share of web traffic? Considering Android’s global dominance in the smartphone market and growing strength in the tablet space, you’d think it would be Google’s mobile OS, but you’d be wrong.

In February, 40% of traffic generated by mobile devices came from iOS, with 24.5% coming from Android.

Was this a one-month fluke? Apparently not, as the latest update from NetApplications shows that Android now generates 26% of the traffic. This is actually a 35% increase when compared to the same timeframe last year, but still significantly under Apple’s 59% share of web traffic.

web-share-mobile

These numbers seem a bit fishy. If Android has more users, it stands to reason they’d use the web more than iOS owners. So where’s the disconnect?

NetApplications represents 40,000 websites, which is a decent sampling but it by no means makes up the entire web. One possible explanation is that the sites targeted by NetApplications are more popular with iOS users than Android users.

Another possibility is that Android owners simply use their devices differently than Apple device owners. Personally, I use my Android handset all the time at home for a few key apps such as calculator, my weather app, etc. I rarely use the browser unless I’m on the go. It could be that iDevice owners are using their iPhones and iPads at home more often than Android users, which could certainly account for a big difference in web share. Of course that’s just speculation on my part.

We can’t say for sure why there is a big difference between Android and iOS when it comes to web browsing, but honestly, does it really matter? Even if Android users aren’t on the web as often, it doesn’t mean we aren’t perfectly happy with our Android handsets and tablets.

What do you think of NetApplications web usage stats, any ideas for why web traffic varies so much between the two platforms? Does it surprise you that iOS users are using the web more frequently than us Android users?

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