Two and a half years after launching its first Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone on June 18, 2014. Usage statistics point to the company already having made a sizable impact in North America on the strength of its existing tablet offerings, but becoming the market leader will not be quick or easy for the online retailer. Samsung users continue to generate the majority of Android-based Web traffic in North America, and LG recently overtook Amazon to become the second-largest Android traffic source across the continent.
To quantify this latest study, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian smartphone- and tablet-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika network from June 2 through June 8, 2014.
Since our previous study on the subject from early March 2014, the share of Android Web traffic generated by Samsung users jumped 0.9 percentage points to 56.4% – tied with ZTE for the largest share increase for any brand in that timeframe. Samsung’s rise is likely at least partially due to the launch of the Galaxy S5 in April, while ZTE may be realizing some of the benefits from its dramatically expanded marketing push in the United States that has made the company’s devices more widely available, particularly as a pre-paid option for consumers.
LG also experienced a share jump of 0.6 percentage points, an increase largely mirrored in analyst estimates, and one that may accelerate when the company’s lauded G3 smartphone launches in North America this summer.
The next four-largest Android players, Amazon (-1.4%), Motorola (-0.3%), HTC (-0.7%), and Google (-0.7%) all experienced usage share declines. While Amazon and Google are both expected to unveil one or more new flagship devices in the next month or two, HTC’s drop comes in the wake of its HTC One M8 launch, making a resurgence for the device maker from a usage share perspective less likely in the near future.
Smartphones also continue to represent the largest share of Android Web traffic by a substantial margin. The 79% to 21% split remains unchanged since our previous study earlier in 2014, likely representing a larger trend within the North American marketplace.
While the latest figures provide a good illustration of the general dynamic of the North American Android usage environment, measuring these totals against those of iOS show that Apple still holds a sizable advantage within the U.S. and Canada overall.
Android did gain two percentage points in comparative share since our March study, but it’s unclear as to whether and to what degree Android will experience continued share gains as we move through 2014. New iPhone and iPad models are likely to result in usage share increases for Apple, but those launches are expected later this year, and in the meantime, multiple Android brands will collectively debut a number of very capable flagship devices. The success of these smartphones and tablets in Q3 2014 should illuminate the overall track of the mobile marketplace from a brand perspective.