Net Applications has released its mobile market share numbers for October, and they show Apple gaining a lot of ground during the month. IOS market share grew 7 percentage points during October, from 54.65 percent to 61.64 percent. That’s significant growth for share that has either changed slightly or remained steady with few exceptions for the past year. Android grew, too, overtaking Java ME for the second spot globally.
Net Applications gathers data from 40,000 websites that belong to its network of partners. According to traffic on those sites, Google’s mobile OS couldn’t keep pace with Apple’s growth, but did rise about 2.6 percentage points during the month. That, combined with Java ME’s nearly 6 point drop allowed it to move into second place. Apple’s huge gain during the month is most likely attributable to the introduction of the iPhone 4S, which sold 4 million devices in its opening weekend alone, though the continued strength of the iPad versus Android tablets also likely accounts for why Apple fared better than Google.
The impact of the 4S was also felt in mobile browser share, where mobile Safari’s share climbed from 55.59 to 62.17 percent between September and October. Google’s Android Browser, by contrast, was nearly flat, actually losing around 0.3 percentage points.
Apple’s growth propels it to a new high in terms of the history of Net Applications’ data tracking, and just reinforces the fact that when comparing market share in shipped versus sold terms, you can often misinterpret which OS actually has a lead in usage. The new data from Net Applications about OS and browser usage is much more relevant to mobile advertisers and developers since it presents a better idea of who’s actually accessing the web and applications from a specific platform more frequently.