Six-Month Study: Apple iOS Users Consume Growing Amount of Web Traffic

Six-Month Study: Apple iOS Users Consume Growing Amount of Web Traffic

  • 3 December 2012

With the Droid RAZR M, Samsung Galaxy S III, Kindle Fire HD and a wide variety of others, 2012 has seen the debut of a large number of new Android tablets and smartphones. Meanwhile Apple has rolled out a new version of the iPhone, two new iterations of the iPad, along with the iPad mini. Chitika Insights examined how this stream of the latest and greatest products has shifted the use of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

To quantify this study Chitika Insights conducted a user agent analysis on billions of ad impressions, spanning a 6 month time frame from May 27th, 2012 to November 27th, 2012. Looking only at impressions coming from an iOS or Android device, we were then able to observe the difference in Web traffic volume from these operating systems.

Despite all the new Android and Apple devices that have been released over the past six months, little has changed in the overall Web traffic distribution between iOS and Android. iOS’s share has hovered around 65%, while Android largely has stayed around 35%, the OS hit a peak of 40% in late August thanks partially to strong Samsung Galaxy S III sales. Apple then regained some share with the release of the iPhone 5 in the September timeframe.

Although these devices created a shift of a few percentage points shortly following release, thanks to Apple’s debut of three new devices, including the iPhone 5 this fall, its bump has been gradual, but more sustained. With Apple’s loyal fan base and unique ability to build a tremendous degree of hype around every product launch, the company has made quick sell outs of new devices and high demand a regular occurrence.

While third-party and our own observations have pegged smartphone Web traffic share as a near-tie, Apple has a decided advantage in the tablet market, where its iPad is unquestionably the hottest seller in the sector.  This advantage is the largest contributing factor to Apple’s lead over Android.

This data may also suggest that users largely don’t switch between different OS' when they upgrade their device. Should this be true, manufacturers of Android devices are competing more with each other for customers, while Apple is in little danger of having its user base dwindle.