Between January 2014 and January 2015, Samsung tablets experienced the largest increase in North American usage share of any other tablet brand. Conversely, users of Apple’s iPad, while still responsible for the largest portion of North American tablet Web traffic, now generate a usage share 7.4 percentage points lower than January 2014, and 10.2 percentage points lower than January 2013.
Despite iPhones remaining the largest source of smartphone Internet traffic in North America, our latest study finds a relatively high degree of variation of iPhone usage rates on a state-by-state basis.
Mobile application vs. Web traffic on North American smartphones reflect similar environments from a brand perspective. But while, for example, Apple users generate the most traffic in both ecosystems, the differences between a given user base’s app and Web share sheds some light on how app usage rates differ on a platform-to-platform basis.
Several years following their North American debut, smartphones with five-inch and larger screens, nicknamed phablets, have become decidedly mainstream. Samsung has designed both of its latest flagship Galaxy S devices with screens surpassing the five-inch mark, and Apple released its first phablet-style iPhone earlier this fall. With Samsung’s sizable number of offerings in the segment, it’s no wonder that users of its larger-screened smartphones drive more than 77% of all phablet-based Web traffic within North America. However, current usage statistics point to a competitive marketplace with a variety of brands achieving success with new five-inch and greater phone models.
iPad users generated 79.9% of North American tablet-based Web traffic over the month of September 2014 – a share down from the 81% figure observed one year ago, but a gain of 1.9 percentage points since July 2014. Meanwhile, Amazon and Samsung tablets are, respectively, still the second- and third-largest sources of tablet Web usage in the U.S. and Canada after both posted slight quarter-over-quarter share drops over the study period.
As part of Apple’s multi-faceted event held on October 16, 2014, the company officially released OS X Yosemite to the general public. Apple had previously made a public beta of the OS available for the first time in the company’s history, and this seems to have helped boost initial adoption rates slightly beyond what was observed for OS X Mavericks back in 2013.
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.
iPhone 6 users now generate 2.3% of total North American iPhone-based Web traffic – a figure roughly 0.8 percentage points higher than what was observed the first weekend following release. Meanwhile, the share of U.S. and Canadian iPhone-based Web traffic driven by iPhone 6 Plus users reached 0.3%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points since the first post-release weekend.
Apple began pushing out iOS 8 updates to eligible devices around 1pm ET on September 17, 2014. Unlike with iOS 7, which boasted a wide variety of differences from its predecessor iOS 6, in particular a brand new look and feel, iOS 8 was more incremental in its improvements. These include the ability to add widgets, extensions to share information between apps, and interactive notifications. While reviews of the new OS version have been generally positive, initial adoption of iOS 8 has been remarkably more tepid than the last two iOS iterations – iOS 7 and iOS 6.
On September 9, 2014, Apple is expected to announce one or more new iPhone models, along with some news regarding the availability of the newest editions of iOS and OS X. Going into the event, usage-based stats show that Apple has done a noteworthy job managing its own mobile ecosystem from an adoption standpoint.