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iPhone and iPad do half of mobile web surfing

Half of the web surfing done on a phone or tablet is perfomed by an Apple iPhone or iPad, according to new figures.

Half of the web surfing performed on phones or tablets is done on an Apple iPhone or iPad. It seems owners of Apple phones and tablets are more likely to hit the Internet than owners of Android, Nokia or BlackBerry devices.

Data from NetMarketShare reveals smart phones and tablets running Apple's iOS software performed 52.1 per cent of mobile browsing in 2011. The year before it was 54.1 per cent, so in a rapidly evolving market, Apple seems to be holding pretty steady in this one measure.

The blue line in the graph represents the web browsing performed from an Apple phone or tablet. Apple's hold on mobile browsing peaked in October, as happy Apple acolytes got to grips with their new iPhone 4S smart phones.

As Apple holds steady, Android -- the red line -- is growing. Web surfing on Android phones and tablets grew to 16.29 per cent from 12.75 per cent last year, while Nokia's Symbian platform plunged to 5.76 per cent from 7.40 per cent. No doubt the Finnish phone-furnishers will be hoping next year's figures improve with the advent of the Windows Phone-powered Lumia range of smart phones.

So it looks as though iPhone and iPad users browse the web more than owners of Android phones, even as Android continues to sell more than iOS. But we reckon Apple's dominance of the tablet market balances out Android's growth in phones. Twice as many Android phones are sold than iPhones, thanks to the vast range of Android phones coming in all shapes and sizes and price tags, to suit all pockets and wallets. As a sign of Android's success, Samsung Galaxy phones alone have topped 30 million sales.

Apple's dominance in browsing figures could reflect the fact that Apple owns the tablet market. We'd argue that unlike a phone, a tablet's main job is connecting to the web -- just ahead of watching films, videos and other media -- so it'd be no surprise if the iPad balanced out the figures in Apple's favour.

And it's clear that tablets are here to stay for people heading out of the house: the iPad and tablets now outsell netbooks by two to one.

Of course, some people may simply not bother that much with the Internet. That would make a smart phone a waste of money, but hey, not everybody takes this technology stuff as seriously as us. After all, less than half of app users have ever paid for an app. Amateurs!

With Android outselling Apple, why do you think more sites are browsed via iOS? Does the iPad balance the figures? Do Apple fans spend more time with their heads buried in their phones? Share your Apple-baiting and Android-bashing in the comments or on our Facebook page.