ios vs android

Are you reading this on your smartphone? If so, you’ve got about 14 minutes to finish up.

A new study by Simmons Connect finds that smartphone users spend about 14 minutes a day looking at websites. They also compared Android to iOS users, and found some interesting statistics which may cast doubt on previous claims of iOS usage over Android. Interestingly enough, this all comes to light the day after Tim Cook noted (again) that iOS users spend more time visiting websites than their Android counterpart.

Android users spend about 49 minutes on their mobile device daily, whereas iOS users spend a whopping 75 minutes a day squinting at their screens. That averages out to about an hour, which is a good median number for comparison. We’ll keep in mind, though, that percentage of use versus overall time will have an integral part of the discussion.


The stats

Of the time spent using our smartphones, some interesting similarities come to light, as well as some discrepancies. For instance, Android users spend more time talking, 28% compared to 22% for iOS users. Those iOS fans spend a bit more time texting, 22% compared to 16% for Android. We spend the same amount of time on social media (16%), and roughly the same time on email (10% for iOS, 8% for Android).

The most interesting statistic is that iOS users spend 12% of their time visiting websites, while Android users devote 16% on the same task. Just yesterday, at the D11 conference, Cook noted that 59% of web traffic comes from iOS devices. While that encomapsses both tablets and smartphones, it seems disproportionate to these numbers.

However, if we break the numbers out of their average, that’s a fair claim. When compared on time spent on the device versus percentage spent visitng websites, iOS users comprise about 54% of overall web traffic (9 minutes compared to 7.84 minutes). When factoring in the iPad, which has the lion’s share of the tablet market, that claim becomes more approachable.



Let’s focus on those internet numbers once again. The iOS user spends about 50% more time on their iPhone, yet represents only an extra minute visiting websites. They also text quite a bit more, and when factoring in the extra time spent on the device, that becomes a consumptive issue.

This also forces us to consider fragmentation. It’s fair to bulk Android users together, but it gets a bit convoluted when we consider which device and iteration of the OS is being used. Some older Android versions simply don’t do browsing efficiently, or the service plans don’t allow for it as a means to consider that function viable.

We’re also considering the device and operating system used, not the browser. If we compare browser statistics, Chrome is a clear winner over Safari, with some studies noting the discrepancy as much as 10-to-1 in favor of Chrome. Chrome is available on any platform, so if an iOS user were using Chrome, it’s still a tip of the hat towards Google.

Heart of the matter

Statistics are fun, but time spent on the device is the most confusing statistic. While an hour isn’t much time, the overall use discrepancy is troubling. Our iOS friends spend an extra half hour on their phones, which is concerning. In that extra minute visiting websites, I’d think they’d be searching for cool things to do. Field Trip tells me what’s going on. So does Google Now. I really don’t have to look at my device at all, it just keeps me informed. It’s as though Android just suits users better, and gets out of the way so we can enjoy life.

Oh… Now I get it.

  • Jaime Lefebvre

    If most of the apps I used most didn’t have Chrome extensions, I would use my phone/tablet alot more. As it is though, I use my Chromebook and Chrome browser on Windows to check Gmail, G+ and Google Voice. Take all those away and lump them back onto Android, I bet my usages time triples….easily.

  • Spankdefault

    Straight from the mouth of Google…love it :) “…and gets out of the way so we can enjoy life.”


      Actually those are Apples words. Google just copied them :)

      • I find your name funny considering you are such an Apple fan. I live in the city of hipsters, Austin TX, and every single hipster I have met owns an iPhone.

      • swannanoa72

        Yup that’s right. Cause those words now sound better and make more sense being Google’s property rather than Apple’s.

  • Tewfik

    I wish we could have Android as PC’s operating system, that’s the only way I use windows.

    • Joshua Hill

      OMG with it’s terrible file management and file browsing. What planet are you on. Android is not suitable as a desktop replacement OS.

      Your statement doesn’t even make sense. How can you use Windows when your using Android instead!

      • Friðberg Leifs Jensson

        Google could modify Android to be more PC friendly.

        • Joshua Hill

          Yes but I prefer windows over linux as a desktop OS. Can’t get my high end pc gaming fix on anything other than a windows OS.

      • milksop held

        Agreed I’m happy using different phone and sektop is by different companies


    Because android users spend more time troubleshooting their devices LOL.

    • Anonymousfella

      Or is it because they enjoy interacting with their devices?


        So they use them less…? Haha FAIL.

    • 윌 스튜어트

      Or it could be because Android devices do tasks faster & more efficiently.


        But IOS has 59% of worldwide mobile web traffic :( fandroids are too busy resetting their phones LOL

        • Jomar Romero


        • 윌 스튜어트

          IOS – that figure includes tablets, I thought we were talking about phones?


            Is that what you day when you have no rebuttal LOL

          • 윌 스튜어트

            Rebuttal? I thought we were talking about phones?

  • 윌 스튜어트

    America. This article missed that keyword – the study was conducted in America, and doesn’t apply to the rest of the world. I use my phone a lot more than the average of that study.

    • idandroid

      And by America you mean the continent…right?

      • 윌 스튜어트

        Sorry, my bad, I meant the USA.

    • Nick Dion

      I’m pretty sure every single person that comes to this website uses their android phone for over an hour a day. That’s just common sense.

  • kascollet

    What a weird title.
    Most important fact is 49′ daily use for Android phones and 75 for iPhones.
    It’s just an expected scenario : all iPhones are high end expensive thus comfortably usable smartphones whereas the bulk of Android phones are mid-range phones with lower specs and user experience.
    This means absolutely not that HIGH END Android phones are worse. In fact, they may be better but they do not represent the AVERAGE numbers shown here.

  • wonshikee

    I’m willing to bet if you broke down the android usage into OS versions, you’ll find the 4.x ones mimic iOS more while the 2.x are used more as a phone.

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  • YNM

    I guess its actually not something worth debating. Web browsing can be done ON, FROM, and BY anywhere or anything. “On” is the OS/device, “From” is the location, and “By” is the browser application. This all affects each other like root affects the trunk and leaf, or any other combination. Surely not worth it if we just talk in one section w/o seeing the other.

  • Timmy

    Possible explanations:
    1) iPhone users spend more time “browsing” because it takes longer to read the text on that itty bitty screen. All that pinching and zooming takes more time than if you read text on a S3, S4, N1, N2.

    2) Browsing the web isn’t “cool” and if you own an iPhone/iPad, you have to act cool. If you’re seen browsing the web for too long, Apple takes away your device.

    3) Android has better apps that don’t require a browser.

    4) iOS users are on their devices longer because they are trying to figure out iTunes and how to find their music/videos/etc.

    5) Android users spend more time talking because they are real people who like to talk to real humans. Texting is uber cool and thus a requirement for iOS ownership. (see #2 above). BONUS: Swype makes texting easier so it’s more efficient than iOS.

    Basically, you can make statistics say just about anything.