iOS users generate twice as much Web traffic as Android users

iOS users generate twice as much Web traffic as Android users

Summary: While Android devices outsell iOS by a significant margin, iPad owners are using their tablets more than their Android-powered tablet counterparts. What is behind this significant difference in usage?


A study of Web data spanning a six-month timeframe shows that iOS users generate twice as much Web traffic as Android users.

The Chitika Insights study, the research arm of advertising firm Chitika, consisted of an analysis of the user agents of billions of advert impressions spanning a six-month period, from May 27, 2012 to November 27, 2012. This allows the traffic to be broken down based on operating system.

The data shows that iOS users generate twice the volume of Web traffic compared to Android users.

According to the research, while smartphone Web traffic share is a near-tie between the two platforms, Apple has a huge lead in the tablet market, with the iPad having a commanding lead over Android.

The iPad is the largest contributing factor to Apple's lead over Android.

While there is little doubt that Android is crushing the competition in the mobile market space, this has left analysts wondering why iOS usage seems to exceed that of Android. One suggestion that has been put forward is that the Android platform is simply too complicated for the average user to figure out, and that while people are buying the devices, they aren't getting to the point where they are using them.

I believe that this is partly down to user education. Apple has spent a lot of time and money creating commercials that show its products being used to solve real-world problems. As short and as simple as these ads may be, they give owners -- and potential owners -- an idea of what the iPhone or iPad can do. That might seem extremely basic, but it gets people to explore the potential of their iOS-powered device.

Compare this to ads I've seen for Android hardware, which seem to focus on the device itself rather that what it can do for the owner.

Image source: Chitika Insights.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • So, do you think Android is still the new Windows?

    Only in market share.
    • of course
      • "While Android devices outsell iOS by a significant margin" -- globally, ..

        ... but not in USA, where Apple smartphones have slightly bigger share than Android ones. And if you add tablets to it, then Apple leads quite soundly.

        But globally, yes, Android leads very soundly.
        • unfortunately

          Yes, USA is very very brainwashed :-)
          Android is in era multi user GUI, photo sphere, widgets....... iOS has still icons :-)
        • Bull!

          Apple Smart phones in the USA do not have a higher share of the market... iOS is counting iPads as well but you lie all the time.
          • No, iOS has higher than Android share currently (thanks to iPhone 5) ...

            ... specifically in smartphones.
          • And surely only USA counts...

            With all other billions of people around the world, with millions of smartphone buyers that is buying android based phones instead of apple, surely only USA counts...
  • This tells me

    that there are tons of Android users that are using their smartphones as feature phones only.
    • lies

      No, just lies...... See statcounter
    • Grandfather Accounts

      The only way this will make sense if they would some how show new and existing data plan users. Why, because from what I have seen existing Apple users are pretty much the majority of the ones that keeing Apple alive. True that there are new users going to Apple but not as much as Android.

      New users means HIGH PAYING data plans so you have to limit yourself. Viewing it this way it would make sense that those unfortunate NEW users are unable to enjoy their phones as they should.
    • I've noticed this

      My brother in law showed me this big honking Galaxy S4 he just picked up and must have paid a mint for. He bought it for emergencies and keeps it in his trunk.

      Strange that people do this when there are feature phones still around. I think they figure that they may get into the phone's more useful functions some day, but aren't ready to figure it out just yet.
  • It will be interesting to see... this will be in one year from now. I'm not going to make any predictions. But I'm sure various platform supporters ("fanbois" is a childish term) will do that.
  • That isn't what this stat says at all

    "analysis of the user agents of billions of advert impressions"

    What this says is that iOS users see twice as many ads as Android users.

    How did John Gruber put it when the topic of seeing ads on Windows came up? Oh right, I remember:

    Exactly. This makes me so happy to have switched away from Apple.
    • Or...

      iOS's ads are generating twice as much as web traffic as Android due to data inefficiency...

      For Gruber, you know.
      Ads on iOS - great! Meaning more revenue for ad developers
      Ads on Andriod/Windows 8 - gross. Greedy developer cash grab.
    • Nice.

      I love how you take things out of context to prove...what?
      • Out of context?

        How so? The statistic was based on ad hits. Ever hear of ad blockers?

        The only thing that we can say for sure is that iOS users see twice as many ads as Android users.

        • Sorry, NonZealot.

          Should have been more specific.

          Gruber's statement was out of context, and that isn't what he said. Please post a link to the whole piece so people can read it for themselves.
          • I guess you are responding to me?

            Anyway, I have nothing to hide:

            It is a 1 word post. Here is every single word that Gruber had to say about it:

            I've now posted a link to the whole piece so people can read it for themselves.

            As these statistics show, if you want to see ads on your mobile device, make sure you get an iOS device. Personally, I think it is:
          • Where were Windows 8 and Windows RT devices in that study?

            I'm confused... I can't tell what percentage of the traffic was W8 or WRT? I couldn't see a line for Windows on that graph?

            Do you maybe have a link to what percentage is W8?
          • Ad blockers is the way to go

            Hopefully, effective ad blockers will be available for ALL platforms. So that neither Android, Windows or iOS users need to be exposed to ads if they don't want to. Ads in Windows aren't better than ads in iOS or Android, are they?