Smartphone Usage Update: Windows Phone Takes Third Place Behind iOS, Android

Smartphone Usage Update: Windows Phone Takes Third Place Behind iOS, Android

  • 15 May 2014

Windows Phone users now generate the third-largest share of Web traffic amongst all smartphone operating systems, according to our latest North American usage data. Recently ceding the third place position was BlackBerry, which exhibited a usage share decline over several months and was overtaken in March 2014. Meanwhile, iOS and Android smartphones continue to generate the two largest aggregate usage totals by a considerable margin.

To quantify Windows- and BlackBerry-based smartphone Web traffic over time, Chitika Insights examined hundreds of millions of U.S. and Canadian smartphone-based online ad impressions between February 1 and April 30, 2014. Overall smartphone usage share figures were drawn from online ad impressions catalogued between April 1 and 30, 2014.

As seen in the above graph, the usage share of Windows smartphones remained largely flat from February through April. However, BlackBerry’s steady decline over the same time period dropped the manufacturer to the fourth place spot. Both of these trends mirror recent analyst estimates regarding the progress of both operating systems within the United States.

Looking at the larger smartphone usage environment, iOS and Android remain the clear leaders in North America. iOS users generate the majority of North American smartphone Web traffic at 53.1%, while Android follows with 44.5%. With several flagship devices upcoming from a number of the largest manufacturers, we expect to observe some subsequent usage share variations between the two operating systems over the next several months, helping to illuminate the overall trend moving into the holiday season.

Shifting to the two smaller players, BlackBerry’s most recent device release was decidedly focused on emerging markets, slightly dimming the prospects for a 2014 resurgence for the device maker in North America. While Microsoft has worked hard to make Windows Phone a competitive third mobile OS from a functionality standpoint, the operating system’s flat rate of growth over the past several months makes it likely that Apple and Google’s offerings will remain the frontrunners stateside for the foreseeable future.