In late February 2014, Chitika Insights observed iOS 7 users generating the vast majority of Web traffic from U.S. and Canadian iPhones (84.3%) and iPads (78.5%). With iOS 8 expected to be at least partially unveiled at next week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), we revisited overall iOS version distribution on each respective device type. Expectedly, the latest data indicate continued usage share growth for iOS 7 across both iPhones and iPads in North America.
At an event planned for May 20, 2014, Microsoft is expected to announce one or more new additions to the Surface device family. Whatever the exact offering may be, the company’s goal is to help improve the Surface line’s long-term prospects following a disappointing Q1 2014. Usage share metrics underscore Microsoft’s existing issues in North America, as the share of Web traffic from the company’s two tablet models, the Surface and Surface 2, has slightly declined since February 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.
The Galaxy S5, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, debuted on April 11, 2014 across all the major U.S. carriers. One major promotion also coincided with the device’s release, with Verizon offering customers the option to buy one Galaxy S5 and get another one free. Based on North American Web usage data, this promotion, along with some other smaller campaigns from Sprint and others, are likely to have helped boost adoption rates of the device as compared to previous Galaxy S models.
Our January 2014 report on the North American tablet usage environment showed slight year-over-year share gains for several larger manufacturers. As we move through Q2 2014, Samsung’s share growth remains particularly strong, with Samsung users now generating the second-most North American tablet Web traffic at 8.3%. However, Apple’s iPad remains the far away leader, with its users continuing to generate more than three quarters of all U. S. and Canadian tablet-based Web traffic.
Recent Web usage data indicates that Google’s latest Android OS version, KitKat, is being used at nearly equal rates by North American smartphone and tablet users. Meanwhile, with Android 4.1.1 being the only version of Android exhibiting a vulnerability due to the Open SSL “Heartbleed” bug, Chitika Insights examined how North American Web traffic from Android 4.1 users breaks down by patch release.
Taiwanese device maker HTC produced one of 2013’s most smartphones with the HTC One. Analyst and company estimates pointed to the device and its subsequent variations collectively generating moderately successful sales, but having trended downwards to close out the year. The company’s latest flagship device, the One M8, boasted increased functionality, user interface changes, and a modified look and feel, all of which were generally well received by industry watchers prior to the smartphone’s launch on March 25, 2014. While HTC’s latest One model has gotten off to a slower start than its predecessor, it’s clear that the company is betting on the success of the flagship device to boost its standing in the smartphone marketplace.
Aside from a number of aesthetic and functional changes Apple included as part of OS X Mavericks, the company also turned heads by releasing the latest OS as a free upgrade for Mac desktop and laptop users. Now five months after Mavericks’ public release, recent usage data suggests that this strategy has helped substantially improve adoption rates as compared to previous Mac OS X versions.
Apple and Samsung have forged a bitter rivalry both globally and within the North American marketplace. With each manufacturer planning to unveil at least one new flagship device in 2014, investors will be watching closely as the market dictates who comes out on top in terms of sales and impact on the overall mobile ecosystem. To provide a baseline for both companies based on past releases, Chitika Insights studied initial adoption rates for Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S IV in the two months following their respective North American debuts. Additionally, several breakdowns of a year’s worth of overall market data are provided for context.
45 hours following its public debut, iOS 7.1 users are now generating a full 12% of total North American iOS Web traffic. With a 6.1 percentage point increase, this is roughly a doubling of the usage share observed within the earlier 24-hour study published on March 11, 2014.