Apple's iOS outshines Android in US mobile Web traffic

iOS mobile traffic has inched up across the US after the iPhone 6's launch in mid-September, while Android traffic has dipped, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

The new iPhone may have sucked in enough Android users to impact mobile Web traffic. CNET

The iPhone 6 gave a small shot in the arm to Apple's mobile Web traffic in the US after the smartphone hit the market in mid-September.

Specifically, the share of mobile Web traffic from Apple iOS devices in the US crept up to 61.4 percent from 60.6 percent during the nine weeks following the phone's launch, according to analyst Gene Munster. Citing data from Piper Jaffray and analytics firm Quantcast, Munster noted that traffic from Android devices decreased from 38.4 percent to 37.5 percent over the same period.

The changes in percentage for both operating systems may sound small but they do point to increased adoption of iOS devices. And the timing of the percentage changes could be one sign that more Android users jumped shipped to iOS as a result of the iPhone 6. Previously, Android held the upper hand among consumers craving big-screened smartphones. But with the introduction of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is now finally a competitor in the big-screen phone arena.

Android is still the leader in US market share in smartphone hardware, based on data from such research firms as ComScore and Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. But iOS has significantly held a lead over Android in US Web traffic, even before the launch of the iPhone 6. So there must be some reason why Apple is tops in this specific area.

In a research report released Friday, Munster cited a few reasons -- including the popularity of the iPad -- why he believes iOS leads in mobile traffic.

"As a starting point, Kantar research estimates iPhone US market share is 33 percent," the analyst said. "We believe that iOS users are likely more engaged with their phones on a daily basis than Android users. Third, we believe that iOS' contribution from tablets, which are likely to generate more traffic than a smartphone, is currently greater than Android's."

The data from Quantcast looks at 2 billion mobile page views per month. Estimates point to around 150 million smartphones used in the US, which each one generating around 15 page views per day.