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Summary:

A report earlier this week that found ownership of Android and Apple tablets had pulled even in the U.S., but other data shows those devices’ web use isn’t close at all. That will matter a lot to people trying to target mobile ads on these devices.

Britain's de facto web censors: mobile filters

If you thought the numbers showing Android tablet use pulling even with iPad in the U.S. from the Online Publishers Association that made the rounds earlier this week sounded a bit surprising, you’re not alone. The folks at Chitika Insights delved into their own mobile ad network for web usage data of iPads and Android tablets in the U.S. and found results that painted a different picture than the roughly 50/50 ownership market share does. The report will be published Thursday, but we got an early peek.

The OPA found in its report that in the U.S. iPad ownership had reached 52 percent market share, and various tablets running Android software had reached 51 percent. The numbers imply overlap in ownership since they don’t add up to 100 percent. But beyond merely owning one, which devices are the owners engaged with the most?

What Chitika found was that iPad users generate almost nine times more web traffic than Android tablet users. This is not a totally new insight — it’s been reported previously that iPad users interact with their mobile web browsers much more often than their Android tablet-owning counterparts — but Chitika checked very recent data, “hundreds of millions of impressions” between June 4 and June 10 on its mobile ad network, and found a still-wide gap between how iPads are used versus its competition.

Using a tablet’s browser isn’t the only way to evaluate whether said device is being used. It doesn’t, for example, account very well for devices like the Kindle Fire or the Nook, which are primarily e-readers. But it is one way. And for folks in the ad business, that does matter, as they try to figure out how to reach users on mobile devices.

According to Chitika: “This asymmetric Web traffic means that tablet ad optimization for the iPad should provide the greatest benefit, and take a priority over Android tablets.”

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  1. Reblogged this on Marcus Sanford and commented:
    Whatever users are doing with their Android tablets, they aren’t using their web browsers.

  2. Hey thats slight of hand. Your previous reported study is August *2011* so is Chitika’s study from this year or last?

    1. Hi Bob,

      It’s in the third paragraph: Chitika’s new report is derived from data collected between June 4 and June 10, as in, earlier this month.

  3. This makes perfect sense. Safari is probably the best mobile browser. Even though it’s based on WebKit, the Android browser is not even close to Safari in rendering quality and usability. Amazon tried to make their own browser (“Silk”) for the Kindle Fire to address the issues (it does better but is still not in the same league as Safari. Pretty odd that Google has missed this.

  4. There needs to be an “Other Android Tablet” category on that chart. I’m sure it’s at least 3 times larger than the Samsung Galaxy Tablet category.

    1. You mean separate out the full function Android tablets like the Galaxy from things like the Fire which run Android but are set up for a more dedicated functionality? Actually the Fire may be a beast all by itself with the directed browser/purchase engine along side the e-reader.

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