While owners of Samsung devices continue to drive the largest share of North American Android Web traffic by a substantial margin, LG posted the largest usage share gains among any Android brand between June and September 2014.
To quantify this latest study, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Android smartphone- and tablet-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika network from September 1 through 30, 2014. For comparison, the graph also includes each brand’s Android usage share recorded as part of our previous study on the subject from June 2014.
With a 1.7 percentage point gain, the LG user base exhibited the greatest usage share growth amongst any Android brand since June 2014. This is a continuation of the trend for LG, whose users demonstrated a share jump of 0.6 percentage points between March and June 2014. The success of the LG G3 from a sales perspective is likely a major contributor to the recent acceleration, with the company stating back in August that the flagship smartphone will be its first to cross the 10 million unit sales mark. With the latest increases, LG’s user base now generates more than 10% of total North American Android smartphone and tablet Web traffic – the second-highest total of any Android brand.
LG still trails far behind usage of Samsung devices within the U.S. and Canada, with the latter posting a one percentage point share increase since June 2014. Samsung device users now generate more than 57% of all Android smartphone- and tablet-based Web traffic across the U.S. and Canada, with the recent growth likely at least partially due to of a series of discounts on the Samsung Galaxy S5 rolled out by various retailers during the summer months.
The only other gains were posted by Amazon, Kyocera, and Verizon, who all experienced slight 0.1 percentage point share rises since June, essentially holding steady over the study period.
All other Android brands exhibited share losses over the same time frame, with the largest drops coming from HTC (-0.7%), Google (-0.4%), and Barnes & Noble (-0.4%), all of whom also posted share dips between our March and June studies.
North American Android Web traffic continues to be heavily driven by smartphones as opposed to tablets, with the current 81% to 19% split widening by 2 percentage points since our previous study. It’s likely that the relatively small pool of recent Android tablet releases (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Tab S) simply haven’t caught on with North American consumers quite as well as the current crop of Android smartphones (e.g. LG G3). Whether this gap continues to expand will largely depend on the fortunes of future tablets from Samsung, Google, and Amazon – the three most prominent Android tablet brands. On this front, Amazon has several new iterations of its Kindle Fire tablet in the coming weeks, and Google is rumored to be releasing a nine-inch Nexus tablet prior to the holiday season.
The lack of growth within the Android tablet space is a big reason why U.S. and Canadian iOS users generate a substantially higher percentage of Web traffic than their Android counterparts. While we found back in July 2014 that Android and iOS users generate relatively similar shares of Web usage from smartphones, when tablets are included iOS’ advantage within North America balloons to 65% thanks to Apple’s dominant tablet position.
While large-scale changes within the Android or larger mobile ecosystem will be slower to develop based on the size of both markets, momentum developed by particular brands from now through the holiday season will be telling from a long-term perspective. LG’s degree of continued progress, and any impact on Samsung, is likely the biggest storyline to watch on the Android front.