The past years haven’t been the best for Apple, once the single power in control of the smartphone market. Android soon became the governing platform in the mobile industry, but there was one thing Apple would always mock Google’s OS for – web usage. This will no longer be the case, as Android has finally surpassed iOS’ amazing statistics in this category.

“I don’t know what these other tablets are doing. They must be in warehouses, or on store shelves, or maybe in somebody’s bottom drawer!” – Apple CEO Tim Cook

It’s no doubt a great victory for the Android community, taking away one of Apple’s very last weapons in the never-ending argument of the mobile operating systems. This data comes from Net Application’s research, which measures traffic within its network, accounting for 160 million monthly visits.


In the graph above we see Android taking Apple’s crown, if only by under 1%. The Android platform accounted for 44.62% of July’s traffic, while Apple fell behind at 44.19%. Does this mean Apple will stop trying to attack Android with silly statements? We are sure they will find something else to talk about, but it’s good to see them running out of content to throw at Google’s face.

The consequences?

htc one m8 vs iphone 5s quick look aa (9 of 15)

Even if Google continues to grow in the mobile market, Apple is still raking in all the cash. They are winning in the most important aspect, which gives them plenty of power. What we do see happening in the near future is better competition for the consumer, though.

Developers will now have less of a reason to prefer one ecosystem over the other, as quantity and usage no longer favor iOS. Other factors come into play, but we are getting closer to the balanced market we all seek. Of course, this also means that something is happening in the OS that is helping its numbers improve. The OS is better than ever and it’s only improving. A quick look at Android L is all the proof you need to see.

Edgar Cervantes
Edgar Cervantes has over 5 years of experience in tech journalism. Exploring the latest gadgets and constantly studying the industry are part of is daily drive. Regardless of what he is working on, you can be sure he is always trying his best to bring you the best content. He will be dead honest and will bend to nothing.
  • Crutchcorn


  • Fabian Taveras

    Its about fucking time now let’s hold this lead never let go of it.
    But seriously though what the fuck? It took us this long? 85% market share and now we finally did this?

    • yungtris

      I guess a lot of Android people don’t go online…

      • Fabian Taveras

        I think I have a theory on why. Since android sells very well in developing countries I’m pretty in those countries they don’t have 4g and probably have spoty 3g. What if Internet improved in significantly in those countries? Like more 3g with some possible 4g?

        • Internet infrastructure continues to improve rapidly on a global scale. I have no doubt that 12 months from now the gulf will be roughly 50% more in terms of web usage. Also, there’s going to be a ton of great $100 Android devices released from here on in, enabling more and more people to get connected and be mobile. The future is with Android, not Apple.

          • Fabian Taveras

            Oh yeah android will definitely be the future without a doubt. hopefully Internet infrastructure continues to improve because if it does then there is no stopping this rape train Lol.

      • Saleem

        You got it backwards. iphone user can’t do anything when offline..

      • Tomi Gjeka

        Well android users have a internet toggle on/off :P

    • Superdroid

      Go Android!!!

    • Tom-Helge Andersen

      Here is a hint. With Android, you can run the web browsers under the so called ‘Desktop Mode’ which lets you see web pages like normal and not in mobile friendly pages.

      When you do this, the web browser usage wont get registered under Android as the web browser will get registered under a normal dekstop web browser.

      As this takes 2 clicks to activate, it’s an easy task to do. So you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why the statistics for Android browsing have taken so long time to catch up with iOS.

      Was there anything else you was wondering about?

      • joser116

        I don’t think that will be the main reason. That desktop mode feature is only very slightly to blame for Android barely catching up to iOS in web usage. The feature is not used significantly compared to general browsing. I am a heavy internet user and I rarely use it.

        And now that mobile sites have gotten better and are going to get even better. Less people will use the feature.

        Case in point, this desktop feature had very little to almost negligible effect on Android barely catching up to iOS on web usage.

        Fabian Tavera’s theory below is a more potent reason for that. Android’s user base is just different.

        • Tom-Helge Andersen

          It’s one of the reasons. Another reasons is that iOS users are more forced to use online services than Android users is. I know alot of users who actively use cloud storages all the time as their iPhones doesn’t have enough storage space.

          Therefor, they will store much more on the cloud than we Android users do as we Android users have MicroSD slots for the most part.

          • abazigal

            Even so, how does that relate with web usage?

            If I want to use dropbox, I have the dropbox app for that. iCloud syncs constantly in the background. None of this would trigger web usage numbers.

            I am starting to believe that you don’t really have any idea of what you are talking about, and are just spouting random, irrelevant and highly inaccurate pieces of information.

          • Tom-Helge Andersen

            If cloud storage isn’t in that stats, then the ‘User Agent’ feature is the reason on Android. Most peoples i know that have an Android phone uses the ‘Desktop Mode’ on their phones as they want the most real web experience as possible.

          • joser116

            We are not sure if Desktop Mode websites are counted or not. They probably are. Net Applications are very specific in their methodology. (Heck, they are very specific about counting hidden pages and preloading)I doubt they would overlook something like Desktop Mode browsing. They have been doing reports since 2004.

            Even if they are NOT counting Desktop Mode searches, I doubt using that mode has anything but a negligible impact on the reports.

          • joser116

            The data for the study comes from a pool of 40,000 websites.

      • abazigal

        That’s rubbish. I can and do revert to desktop mode on certain websites I visit on my iPhone’s Safari browser.

        I get that this is a pro-Android website, but even then, is there is need to fabricate and disseminate such blatant lies?

        • Tom-Helge Andersen

          So, tell me where you can change the ‘User Agent’ on Safari for iOS?

          Yes, you can press on a ‘Full Desktop Mode’ button on some websites. But you have to find that button and use it on every websites you visits before you can take advantage of that. Most peoples on iOS doesn’t even use that as it’s more of a hassle to do that than just activating the ‘Desktop Mode’ (like you can on Android) right away that enables that automaticly for every websites you visits.

          • abazigal

            The fact remains that I can do so on iOS Safari.

            Likewise, how many people actually do so for Android browser? Using the same logic, just because people can do so doesn’t mean that a significant number of users do.

          • Tom-Helge Andersen

            You can do it in the way i explained over. As that’s more hassle than fun to do, i don’t know about many with iOS that does that i’m afraid.

          • You can only do it on sites that have a “view desktop version” or something similar. What do you do when that link isn’t available?

            To answer your question of “how many people actually do so for Android browser” I do it all the time. Especially on my tablet when the mobile site is only optimized for small mobile screens. Imagine reading a website the size of a phone screen on your tablet? It’s nasty.

            At any rate, you suggesting that “just because people can do so doesn’t mean that a significant number of users do” is conjecture (an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.)

          • JL

            As a Galaxy Note user…my phone is ALWAYS on desktop mode because I have the resolution and screen dimensions to handle it.

            Also, more often than note, mobile friendly sites tend to be highly ineffective when it comes to displaying content. Vital features and functionality, as well as some content, is typically dropped or hidden to save space. The ability to switch with little more than putting a check mark in a check box is a God-send.

            The web experience on iOS is as crippled and featureless as a beige wall with a single broken light switch on it.

        • deepen915

          and how do those websites look on your tiny 4 inch 640p screen?

      • Justin Lock

        That’s complete rubbish. A website can still track the device ID when you visit a website, regardless of whether you change to desktop mode. The fact that you even thought this, let alone wrote it down for everyone to see only shows us how little you actually know.

        • Tom-Helge Andersen

          Some evidences on that would be great.

          • Guest

            Garnered through Javascript signals or piggybacked iFrames, probabilistic device identifiers capture a variety of common signals: browser version, device type, country, time zone, language settings, user agent, browser resolution, browser add-ons, etc. Basically, the stuff that makes the Internet work.

          • Justin Lock

            Garnered through Javascript signals or piggybacked iFrames, probabilistic device identifiers capture a variety of common signals: browser version, device type, country, time zone, language settings, user agent, browser resolution, browser add-ons, etc. Basically, the stuff that makes the Internet work

    • andavari

      It’s simple. iphone users can’t do anything if not online. while on android there are plenty to do even without internet.

      • filaos

        Now that is a weird twist !
        Accessing the internet on Android isn’t as smooth as on iOS, and Android customers are cheaper, that’s all.

        • The Bastard Christ

          android users are smarter… hehehe

          • filaos

            Because they can’t figure out how to use the web with their smartphones ?

          • The Bastard Christ

            because android users know when they are being ripped off with $800 devices, lols

          • filaos

            Now that’s ridiculous. Ever heard about high end Android phones ?

          • The Bastard Christ

            you can buy an android device from $50 to $800. what is your point?

          • filaos

            I mean customers buying 800$ “high-end” Android devices are the ones being ripped off.
            I totally understand the need for entry-level devices and naturally, such devices come with limitations and compromises. I don’t get it at all when you pay big money for the same OS, with the same limitations and compromises.
            Apparently, people are slowly getting it : Samsung won’t sell much more Galaxy SX in the coming years (and HTC and LG never did).
            High-end is iphone territory.

          • HowlJenkins

            The fanboy is strong with this one

          • filaos

            Saying web experience is better on iOS is basic fact I’m afraid.
            In other departments, android is better and allows for superior freedom, fact too.
            Why always try to classify people ? So many of you didn’t even make the effort to really try both platforms anyway. Pity.

          • Steve Brain

            First of all let me start by saying that I have used multiple iOS devices and a litany of Android devices ranging back to the very beginning of Android on the main stream market. I also have an iPad 4 and use it daily.
            You have used what? A single Android device?
            With this single Android device you claim that all Android devices are sub par to the performance of the “web experience” of Safari on the iOS.
            You are clearly a troll looking for feed or else just an impertinent dick head.
            The web browsing “experience” on Android devices ranges from completely terrible (on the very old models with stock browser) to absolutely fantastic (newer models running Chrome).
            Yes the experience on iOS is stable and about as quick as all the others offered today in both desktop and mobile devices, Android is right there along side it in terms of performance it is ahead of it in most cases due to the fact Android is so open and free to have unlimited possibilities regarding extensions and the like (flash being the first one to come to mind)
            I don’t even know why you use Safari as the benchmark here due to the fact it has about as much features as a toilet brush, using Chrome on both iOS and Android are basically identical and both are fantastic “experiences”.
            Apple charge more than any other brand for their devices because they lump on a fee for using a device that is labelled with an apple logo. While high end Android devices can be expensive they never rise above the cost of iPhones despite having better specifications in 90% of cases. Look at the Oneplus One for example. Less than half the cost of the iPhone 5S here in my country and it has far better specifications than the iPhone 5S in terms of everything. It is ludicrous that people spend so much money on a single device when Android alternatives have the same or better user experience.

            All that being said I love my iPad, the price isn’t massively inflated on them like they are on the iPhones. While still maintaining the iOS simplicity and feel. It is of course jail broken however.

          • abazigal

            Safari on iOS at least has the browser mode, which makes for a fantastic reading experience online. Chrome for iOS isn’t bad, but since I use a variety of Apple devices, it makes sense to use Safari on them all to reap the benefits of a connected ecosystem. Not least because Chrome for Mac is horrible (sucks up resources and drains battery life very rapidly).

            As for why some people prefer the iPhone, it’s not exactly rocket science to understand that it’s more than blind loyalty that makes people keep coming back to Apple products (not least the iPhone). The iPhone is a product that is differentiated both on hardware and software and in a way which is good and useful. It’s the overall fantastic customer experience which no one else provides on the same level and that appeals to the segment of the market who is willing and able to spend for quality.

            Why is that so hard to accept?

          • filaos

            You suppose I only used one Android device whereas in fact, I’ve had consecutively an iPhone 3GS (first smartphone in my hand), a Galaxy S2, a Nexus 7(1st gen), an iPad2, a Nexus 4, a Nexus 5 (red !) and currently own a Nexus 7 (2nd gen) and an iPhone 5S. Yes I’ve had more Android devices than the other way around.
            I like tech and I like to test devices all by myself so I’ll keep on buying every Nexus device to actually know about Android even if I believe iOS is superior today (that may change, of course), at least when it comes to web browsing. I understand you value side functionalities in your browser. I value more speed and legibility of the pages and Safari is faster, cleaner and more stable. Yes, sometimes the puny 1GB RAM size is annoying but overall the 5S + LTE just flies on the web. You obviously don’t use Safari but if you did, you’d know, especially on your iPad. Safari is a very convincing mobile browser.
            Oddly, this is exactly what every technical review and all the benchmarks results also say…

          • Gon

            I got an one plus one a high end android phone for less than half the price of iPhone haha

          • filaos

            That’s amazing how every time I say « Android high-end phones are as expensive as iPhones », the answer becomes « I got a OnePlusOne ». Still never saw one in person. I honestly believe this declaration comes from Samsung users living in denial.

          • Steve Brain

            So your logic is that if you have never seen one then it doesn’t exist?
            @abazigal:disqus By Browser mode I’m not really sure what you mean, if you mean the reader mode then there is iReader extension which does literally the same thing.

            @filaos:disqus Of course I’ve used Safari and still do from time to time. I don’t use it on a regular basis because it lacks every feature I need. Mainly the ability to sync tabs and bookmarks between Chrome on my desktop.
            On the last two Android devices I’ve used the speed and legibility of websites has been every bit as fast and efficient as my iPad. More so in most cases when it comes to hyper congested websites.
            Experiences clearly differ, unless you just have terrible devices. I’ve never used a Nexus device before mainly due to lack of opportunity but my brother uses the latest Nexus 5 and couldn’t be happier with it.
            All in all, I don’t really care one way or the other.
            What I do care about is the fact that you come onto a website aimed at Android users and call them all cheap.
            Hence why I still think you’re a dick.

        • hoggleboggle

          Accessing the internet isn’t as smooth on Android? That is the biggest pile of bollox if have read in ages. Click on Internet browser app of choice and launch website of choice. This applies to every platform out there.

          • filaos

            There are two many hiccups and slowdowns on a basic Android device. Even with a powerful one, the web is never as fast and usable as it is with Safari on iOS. I’ve used both during a whole month (Nexus 5 with kit Kat and iPhone 5S with iOS 7) and there is just no comparison.

          • hoggleboggle

            “the web is never as fast and usable as it is with Safari on iOS” utter BS. Quite the opposite infact. Android is considerably more usable for web browsing (ability to change browser agent, ability to download files, ability to run Flash (still used by a surprising amount of websites) to name a few) and speed is no different, if anything my Note 3 usually loads pages faster than my colleague’s iphone 5s in the same location and network.

          • filaos

            Flash/files/agent/note 3… ok, you’re that type of funny guy. Sorry for attempting to chat with you.

          • Nick V

            Just shows that you can’t compete with facts, so you have no idea. hoggleboggle 1 — Troll 0

          • filaos

            Seriously ?
            Flash content and file downloading ? On a mobile device with a battery, a tiny screen and no real content creation capabilities ?
            And btw, there are many solutions that allow these functionalities in iOS (yes, Flash content and file downloading), but these are so marginal that nobody cares.
            And the 5S trounces the Note3 in web content rendering.

          • Wait, you can’t download stuff form Safari?

          • filaos

            No, you can only view files and then open them in another app or email etc.
            if you wan to actually dl the file in a file manager, you have to install a specific browser to do it (Filer for example).
            No big deal considering it’s… a phone.

          • It’s certainly not a deal breaker. I was just a little shocked because it’s something I think is simple and doesn’t negatively impact the experience.

          • filaos

            Adding just the dl function would be easy BUT managing the downloaded files without access to the file system is impossible. Maybe they could just build a file manager, restricted to Safari (apps can’t access the file system on iOS).

          • Gon

            Sorry but also have to agree your lying or your using an ancient old phone.
            My moto g web experience is super smooth and no hiccups and I used to have iPhone 5 before that!

          • deepen915

            are you kidding me? Chrome is super fast on my S5!

          • filaos

            It sure is. Safari on any iPhone 5S is still faster.

      • mobilemann

        the need to bash other users because you need your phone platform to be the best (hint, it’s not the best at a great deal of things) is amazing. Kids.

    • Myamo

      Android tables were shit for a long time – and iPads were/are not. Things have changed though. :)

  • Mike Bastable

    Well there won’t be a major shift in app development for some time yet, but this was inevitable. It will be interesting to see how bigger iPhones affect these figures….especially since Android enjoyed a significant surge once the majority of handsets had larger screens. I think that iOS will probably regain its lead because many iOS users are power users. Android is more for the masses (like me).
    I think Darcy is incorrect in his comment here, the history of Android shows us less web usage, this due to its customer base characteristics, this has not really changed. Also his ill considered battle cry for the future is a little juvenile…the future is certainly Android, with Apple…and maybe a China based OS we don’t really know about yet.
    And Darcy…once people realize that the 100 dollar handsets have to be disposable because they wont get updated they then become LESS attractive…Mediatek based handsets are notorious for NOT being updated. Xiaomi etc all use Android as a foundation and NOT an OS so their extreme growth will affect Android, and the figures above includes those handsets (which are NOT strictly Android after all, since Google has little to no control over them)…so to conclude. No surprise but: In future can we regard the fragmented Android system as a whole? especially when the most significant growth seen in is non-vanilla Android versions?
    Now an article about that here would be interesting.

    • I accept your challenge, Mr. Bastable. Let me take the time to formulate an intelligent response :)

      • Mike Bastable

        Did i issue a challenge? …o the article? Great, looking forward to it.
        Any news on editing away the silly battlecry or does Braveheart stay?

    • hoggleboggle

      Why should a $100 become disposable just because it isn’t updated? It still works the same as before and does everything you originally bought it for so why worry about getting an update or not?

      • Mike Bastable

        it is just an illustrative term, people want updates, and these low cost handsets are great value as standalone “dumb” smartphones…

        • Nick V

          If your statement is correct, then Apple would have the majority of the share, but they do not. Fact is, most people could care less about the updates, aside from the techy people, like us. Google has broken their apps away from the OS update cycle, so that really doesn’t affect users the way it did a few years ago.

          • Mike Bastable

            Whilst I somewhat agree when you mention Google apps. Actively disagree about the updates…more and more people are update aware and want the new features…indeed it seems that Google encourages that wasn’t worth every refresh cycle.
            Apple is not or has ever been a commodity product, its damn expensive, will shrink in market share but remain profitable…I was more interested in what’s gonna happen to Android

  • Karly Johnston

    Come on Edgar, you know that statistic is meaningless two months out from the next iPhone release.

  • Seriously stupid to keep reporting nonsense like this. I mean, is it really grounds to celebrate that it takes combined usage of products from EVERY Android manufacturer to overshadow a single company’s usage or sales? Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but Apple is still the largest SINGLE seller of smartphones and tablets.

    I’m an Android user and have been for ages. The Android/iOS/Windows/Mac/Linux fanboism is such a waste of energy. Why not spend that energy on something actually useful in your lives? I get it, it’s human nature to band together over similarities but it’s just sad that this type of “banding” rates.

    I realize I’m on an Android site, I religiously read tech news articles about Android too. I get that I’m probably about to be slammed in comments about my opinion. Oh well

    I guess I just don’t see Skynet..I mean Google as the great good that others see it for. I use their products and even as a user of Android, Gmail & Youtube I’m not ignorant or unaware of how scary they really are and will be in the future. How’s that for crackpot conspiracy theory and paranoia?

    I’ll hush now. ;)

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Big iBS

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Apple forces the ifans to use more cloud services , or transfer data wireless. Where ppl using Android can pass without and faster .iFans also think that Siri is not BS, lol. And yes, Android users stream less because have SD

    • Actually most new Android phones don’t have SD card support. Google has been trying to get rid of our since Ice Cream Sandwich and nearly was successful with Kit Kat. You’re a little behind the curve ball here.

    • abazigal

      What do all these have to do with web usage, which I presume means actually using the mobile browser?

  • Arturo Raygoza

    When.the larger screened iPhone comes out this year their numbers will go right back up

    • someone

      really? they do that all the time. display size gets a bit, if not alot, bigger, and then claim, “omg, thats the best thing ever”.

      • Arturo Raygoza

        I never said its the best thing ever, I said that when that happens this 44% number will go up, that is all.

    • Nick V

      But how will iOS users be able to use their one finger to swipe the entire screen??? That was all I ever heard from you guys. Now with the bigger screen, why not just go to Android?

      • Arturo Raygoza

        Lol I have never had an iPhone, matter if fact I have a Nexus 5, just because I state a fact doesn’t mean I am a apple user.

      • abazigal

        IOS7 lets you swipe from the edge of the screen to go back, so there is no longer a need to reach the top back button of the app.

        Why not go Android? I can think of many factors, from Apple-only features like airplay mirroring, iMessage and iTunes to the tight-knit ecosystem (continuity / handoff) to the plethora of apps that are ios-only (or at least, have yet to be ported over to Android), to Apple products being integrated solutions which just work right out of the box.

        Android’s just not for me.

  • YO TED

    take a break and watch this sexy asking $$$$…..

  • YO TED

    take a break and watch this sexy asking $$%$$…..

  • ElTurco030

    iphone is the best only reason cus why ? JAILBREAAAK :D

  • abazigal

    I am actually also quite surprised by ios’s high web usage numbers.

    Steve Jobs once mentioned in a D10 interview that on iOS, more people are consuming their content in apps, rather than through the browser (I think the context of the conversation about how desktop browser ads didn’t translate well into a native app model). That echoes my own experiences as well, where on my iPhone and iPad, the majority of my browsing is done through apps (I have a plethora of news apps for my reading, for instance). I don’t really use the browser that much at all.

    Am I the anomaly here, or are iOS usage numbers still that high despite the average user not using Safari that much at all?!?

    • Nick V

      Jobs has been wrong on a lot of things. Don’t let his martyrdom get to you. :-)

  • e550mercedes
  • Justin Lock

    Personally I think that this is simply because many people are using relatively outdated Android devices which are mainly used for the basic functionality of a standard mobile phone, not a smartphone. I have encountered many people like this.
    This is by no means the main reason, but is A reason why many manufacturers are placing more emphasis on targeting and trying to entice the users of the budget-end of the market.

  • s2weden2000

    “just say n0 to aijphoney, people”

  • Will S.

    It was bound to happen eventually.

  • fiandz

    we all saw this coming, in the latest apple keynote tim cook did not make any comparisons to android whatsoever because android has overtaken all categories, instead he had to resort to comparing ios to windows 8.