Surface, Kindle Fire are likely holiday winners, but iPad still rules the web surfing roost

ConnectedWeb

It’s a safe bet many people bought or received a new smartphone or tablet for the holidays. Which ones did they get? That’s difficult to say for sure, but with some data from Chitika, we can get a pretty good idea. The company shared web surfing data through its ad network on more than 300,000 websites and found that while Apple still rules the roost, Amazon’s Kindle and Microsoft’s Surface tablets were used quite a bit online as 2013 came to a close.

Holiday smartphone surge 2013

On the phone side, only Apple’s iPhone saw a holiday surge of web surfing traffic, which suggests that a few new iPhone 5c and 5s handsets may have been under the Christmas tree. That “surge” wasn’t much of one though: iPhone users surfed the web 1.8 percent more during the holidays as compared to the non-holiday season. Still, the iPhone accounts for 54.3 percent of all web traffic in the U.S. and Canada as measured by Chitika.

While the handset data isn’t that surprising, the tablet information is when you consider that Microsoft’s Surface products got a small holiday surfing bump and account for 2.3 percent of all web surfing based on Chitika’s data. That may not sound like much, but the data also shows that Google Nexus tablet owners hold only 2 percent of the surfing usage. Microsoft appears to be catching up to web usage on Samsung tablets as well, which Chitika pegs at 5.9 percent.

tablet holiday surge 2013

Among the Android devices, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is still hot. It saw a small 0.6 percent bump in holiday web surfing and holds nearly 10 percent of web traffic. While the Kindle Fire is rightly seen as a more limited tablet than typical Android slates, there’s something to be said for the device’s simplicity in its user interface and one-stop shopping for goods — both physical and digital — through Amazon.

Apple’s iPad is the only measured tablet that actually saw its browser usage share decline over the holidays as compared to its competitors, but the tablet is still the top dog… by a vast margin. Chitika’s data suggests that more than three-fourths of all tablet-based web-browsing is still done on an iPad in the U.S. and Canada.

Bear in mind that this data is simply a proxy based on a single ad network. Even though it’s a large network, the information doesn’t offer exact market share or phones or tablets. Instead, it offers a glimpse of actual usage to represent the market at large.

This post was updated at 12:00pm PT to clarify and correct Apple’s tablet browser usage share over the holidays.

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