Blog Post

Android, iPhone Dominate Mobile Browsing in April 2009

Google’s (s goog) Android and Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone together accounted for almost three-quarters of web browsing on mobile devices in April, yet not even 10 percent of device sales, according to the most recent Mobile Metrics Report from AdMob. But they were the only two — Symbian-, RIM- (s rimm) and Windows Mobile- (s msft) based devices all outsold Apple and Google; their users’ web browsing, meanwhile, came in significantly lower.

The browsing usage data of the iPhone and G1 (the U.S. name of the only Android-based phone at the moment) makes sense, given how the rest of the industry is still largely playing catch-up to the strong Internet experiences these two devices provide. That gulf should narrow, however, as the web browsing capabilities of more and more devices get beefed up.

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Also notable in the report: Apple and Samsung were the only device manufacturers in the top 8 to show positive change in worldwide data requests month-over-month. Apple reported a 4.1 percent increase in total requests, while Samsung showed a 0.5 percent increase. Of the other manufacturers in the survey, only HTC (s htc) and Sony (s sne) showed positive change in the number of data requests, but the market share of each is less than 2 percent.

The iPhone continued to account for a huge amount of AT&T’s web usage. AdMob attributed nearly 70 percent of AT&T’s web requests to the iPhone, and it remained a small but noticeable fraction of T-Mobile’s web usage as well (the iPhone is not officially available on the T-Mobile network).

28 Responses to “Android, iPhone Dominate Mobile Browsing in April 2009”

  1. Guys, clearly the universal applicability of the data is questionable, but let’s face it, those who have better data are not doing a real good job of sharing it. If someone is, please post a link. Long and short of it is that while the specifics will vary from market to market, it is clear that a sea change is happening and that sea change is that the promise of the mobile internet is coming true and that has caught some people with their pants down, particularly in North America. Suddenly what used to be an ornamental bauble or toy has become a real tool that is actually used. Prolly time to get backhaul sorted and I reckon it is time for more fiber in the diet.

  2. Roshan Shrestha

    Since the report mentions that USA accounted for 47% of “Ad Requests”, with Indonesia coming in at second (10.8%), I assume this tilts the usage of HTML traffic in iPhone’s favor, since AdMOb is measuring traffic based on the Ads it serves.

  3. It is good that the axiom “People tend to use things that don’t suck” still holds true in mobility. One of the things that has helped tone down the rise of the mobile web is the awfulness of mobile browsers and web apps. This is starting to change, with both the iPhone and Android offering superior mobile web experiences. Interestingly they also seem the bogeys to target for App Stores as well.

    • I suppose I could have cut through the BS a little more and said “Android, iPhone dominate mobile browsing because everything else is horrendous.”

      Still no Flash on the iPhone though, so it’s not the “whole Internet”, as the ads would have you believe.

  4. Justas Anaside

    The statistics are gathered for mobile web sites with ads placed by admob, as such they are a subset of a subset of the sites hit by the devices in question.

    I can believe them, however, for the general case as well.

  5. Both the headline and first paragraph of this post are fairly misleading. You could have put just about any other name with Apple and the headline would have remained true.

    Perhaps a better metric would have been a ratio of web traffic to market share, either incremental or cumulative. That would probably be a measure (along with total web traffic and market share) of the net experience offered by each device.

    • I was more interested in the phones giving the “full Internet” experience, which the iPhone and Android do well and other phones do not, hence those two being the only platforms to have a higher share of HTML use than their unit market share.

      • Still, given that iPhone has over seven times the market share in this category, this is an extremely misleading headline. iPhone dominates, Android is a distant (and hopeful) second.