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Quantcast's market research shows iOS devices to be plunging in market share, while Android is soaring upward.  (Source: Quantcast)
But Apple still has nearly twice the amount of traffic as Android

A new study from market research firm Quantcast offers some interesting insight into the state of the smartphone market.  The study looks at trends in North American mobile internet use and how Apple's iOS (the iPhone, iPad), Android, RIM OS (Blackberry), and "Other" (Symbian, Windows Mobile 6.5, Palm's webOS, etc.) are stacking up.

The good news for Android is that the study shows its use to be soaring, while Apple's is dipping.  Android surged from approximately 10 percent in November 2009 to 25 percent in August 2010.  Apple's iOS, meanwhile, has fallen from a peak of approximately 68 percent in October 2009 to around 56 percent, at present.

The bad news for Android is that the study still shows the iOS devices appear to beat out Android ones in terms of traffic market share.  That may seem confusing to some, given that market researchers Canalys and the NPD Group both said that Android passed the iPhone in U.S. market share.

The cause of the incongruity is likely the iPad.  The iPad is selling over 2.3 million units a month.  Most users with iPads access the internet regularly either via Wi-Fi, or via built-in 3G modem (if their unit has one).  Android, by contrast, only has one tablet or mobile-internet-device available at present in North America -- the respectively low-volume Dell Streak.

Secondly, the numbers are for 
all of North America, so it's possible that Canadian iPhone adoption versus Canadian Android adoption is skewing the numbers from the U.S. market share.  Finally, there's also the possibility that iPhone/iPad users simply use the mobile internet more heavily than Android users.  That may be a reasonable hypothesis given that past market research has shown iPhone customers to be among the heaviest users of smartphone data. (Of course other studies shown Android customers to be pretty heavy users, as well.)

Quantcast's homepage offers the heady claim that its analytics cover all U.S. internet users, stating, "Right now, Quantcast engages all 220 million U.S. internet users, providing detailed audience profiles for the advertising marketplace to learn more about what consumers are doing online."

Like most market research studies, there's always questions of its accuracy, and there's scores of conclusions that can be drawn from it.  At the end the day, though, the Quantcast study's most important conclusion is that Apple's products are dropping in use while Android ones are steadily advancing in use.



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I'll say it before anyone else does...
By cmdrdredd on 9/6/2010 10:06:25 AM , Rating: 2
Apple sucks!

Ok now that's out of the way. Recent reports stated that Android overtook iPhone in sales. I'm sure that most people with a form of Android phone are more tech savvy than the average Apple user. This is proven by the report of Droid X users on average downloading 5x more data than users of other devices. So I find this particular report a bit hard to imagine.




RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By Da W on 9/6/2010 10:18:54 AM , Rating: 3
That's the effect of a 4 years installed base of iPhone customers. There ain't so many android users yet. Especially in Canada, it's iPhone iPhone iPhone, or you can have a battery eating HTC desire. And forget unlimited data plans up north, there ain't no such things. So you check e-mails on the road and you wait to be back home for heavy downloading via Wi-Fi.

Windows Phone 7 can't come soon enough.


By gcarbonell on 9/6/2010 10:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
Also Android phones vary wildly in hardware, screen size, cpu speeds, etc, so I would expect that a lot of Android phones are not used that much for browsing (the small, cheaper ones). In any case, this report might also be reflecting the fact that Android still has a long way to go. If you ask me today, what phone would I rather have, I would say the iPhone 4 without hesitating. Despite all the Apple haters and the hugely overblown antennagate incident, it is a great smart phone indeed, in my opinion the best currently available. Now, I can't say I'm sure it'll be the same in 12 months from now, but it's undeniable that Android is on the rise big time. (When I say the overblown antenagate thing, I have a few friends with iPhone 4's and they seem pretty damn happy with the phone AND the antenna reception, which I've personally compared to my phone 3G and the ip4 is definitively better)


RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By corduroygt on 9/6/2010 11:20:45 AM , Rating: 1
What makes you think that W7 is better than ios or android?
It's even more locked down than ios, while still lacking the app support ios or android has, not to mention also being behind the curve in usability compared to ios.


RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By kingmotley on 9/6/2010 12:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
You can write install and run apps that you write yourself (or from others), how is that more locked down that iOS where you buy it from iTunes store or not at all?


RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By corduroygt on 9/6/2010 5:30:30 PM , Rating: 1
You can also write, install, and run apps that you write yourself on the iPhone as well as distribute them to others. How do you think they're tested?
I'm also sure MS won't allow porn or other stuff Apple bans on their store.


By Boze on 9/8/2010 12:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm also sure MS won't allow porn or other stuff Apple bans on their store.


You also must be a naive person... Microsoft is driven by profit and almost solely profit. There is no 'vision' by some Emperor-like leader as there is with Apple.

What Microsoft will do though, is implement parental controls to lock down phones and their app store.


By Da W on 9/7/2010 6:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
Cause i have a Zune HD and i know what the usability will be like. Way more fun than a stupid grid full of icons. Iphone is sooooo 2007.
Yeah apps, it'll take a while.


By HotFoot on 9/6/2010 12:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Wind Mobile unlimited data $35/mo. Satisfied customer in Canada.

But yeah, only in major centres.


RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By rudy on 9/6/2010 3:42:11 PM , Rating: 1
I think the problem is that the US consumers and carriers are locking in the production of high end phones. Many high end phones take a bit to get production well past demand. So why would companies move them to more markets.

I cant wait for WP7 too but lets be honest it is not going to be anywere near as good as android when it releases. You do not just make an OS over night. It has taken android this long to get where it is and it will take M$ time too. But when WP7 releases we will finally have 2 mobile OS to compete and at that point I see apple being forced to move to new carriers and RIM is going to see competition on the business end. Expect google to move android to better support business needs as well. Exciting times are coming soon.


By Da W on 9/7/2010 6:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
RIM won't die. Think of it, why would a CEO pay a toy-phone that can do it all to his employees? He just want them to read their e-mails anywhere they are, that's all.


RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By Tony Swash on 9/6/10, Rating: -1
RE: I'll say it before anyone else does...
By Jessedegenerate on 9/6/10, Rating: -1
By torpor on 9/6/2010 4:05:32 PM , Rating: 4
Working as a sales monkey in an AT+T cellular store and trolling over breaks makes you a loser with a BA in History from a small State school, not a technical guru.


Installed base
By RagingDragon on 9/6/2010 11:16:00 AM , Rating: 3
This study looks at all phones, new and old; whereas, the NPD Group study looked at sales of new phones, but not the pre-existing installed base. The iPhone hit the market several years earlier and thus had a huge head start on the Android phone.




RE: Installed base
By smitty3268 on 9/6/2010 5:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what i was going to say. Web use will correspond more to the total number of phones currently in use, while the previous news items were talking only about new sales. Obviously if Android just passed Apple in new sales, the existing userbase is going to favor the iPhone heavily because it was leading for all the time previously.


RE: Installed base
By foolsgambit11 on 9/6/2010 5:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
We could learn a lot more from this graph solely by getting some numbers about total users at each of their data points. That would allow us to determine if the total installed user base for iOS is increasing, decreasing, or stagnant, and just how fast Android phones are entering the market. Too bad those numbers aren't in the article.


RE: Installed base
By lothar98 on 9/6/2010 6:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. What has been lost here is that iOS could actually be growing in installed user base but if it were to grow slower than a competitor it would appear to be shrinking since what the graph really shows is relative growth rates IF you can make the assumption that data rates = user numbers. Take home message is the blogger missed on his analysis though he did aggregate enough links that you could read and come up with your own conclusion.


Cruch
By torpor on 9/6/2010 10:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
If this was a distributed computing team graph, I'd be really worried about Team Android.

Even with the iPad boost, iOS is falling. Not good.




RE: Cruch
By Jessedegenerate on 9/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: Cruch
By Alexstarfire on 9/6/2010 12:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what to say about that link. Everything seems to contradict each other. iOS going down in overall network traffic, yet overtaking Linux during the same period. RIM gaining in network traffic, but also losing it over the same period (comparing that link to this article). Android gaining in network traffic, but staying almost perfectly flat in that link.

Can't have it both ways.

Don't know what to make about iOS vs Linux network traffic since Linux seems abysmally low. Linux is used in a lot of servers so 1% just seems too low. Either way, iOS has a much larger userbase than Linux so it only really shows how much traffic Linux users use.


RE: Cruch
By celticbrewer on 9/7/2010 9:19:25 AM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "not good?" Sounds absolutely awesome to me, and exactly what I predicted would happen! I can't wait until iPhones are another faded apple fad, like iPods. The pad will be next.

Everyone who said "I'm definitely getting an iPhone" to me and then tried an Android phone, ended up purchasing an Android phone. Real-world use beats Apple propaganda every time.


RE: Cruch
By Tony Swash on 9/7/2010 10:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't wait until iPhones are another faded apple fad, like iPods. The pad will be next.


You might have to.

By the way how exactly has the iPod "fad" faded in your opinion?

quote:
I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
  - Umberto Eco


Statistics
By Pjotr on 9/6/2010 11:21:36 AM , Rating: 5
I use Opera Mini to surf on my phone. It means very efficient data transfers, very small data usage. Nice, because I don't need unlimited data plans, but sad for my phone maker since it ends up low on this chart... wasting bandwidth means higher "market share" . :-/




RE: Statistics
By adiposity on 9/8/2010 11:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure this is based on bandwidth and not site visits?


A lesson
By SavagePotato on 9/6/2010 6:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think the lesson to be learned from android is that no matter how big you are or how on top you are you can lose it in the blink of an eye.

I wouldn't have predicted such a massive decline for RIM when they were so firmly entrenched as the market leader. Now the general air is that RIM is on the fast track to joining palm.

Apple in my opinion should take a lesson about stagnating in the marketplace from RIM because the way things are going it's not looking good for anyone using that approach in the smartphone arena.




RE: A lesson
By MScrip on 9/7/2010 2:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say Apple is stagnating at all compared to RIM.

Case in point:

- The latest iPhone was a success

- The latest Blackberry was not (BB Torch)

Blackberries were great for enterprise users... then a bunch of consumers jumped on board... but now consumers are moving to other phones like Androids or iPhones. RIM tried to make a "cool" phone with the Storm... but it was a failure. Maybe they should stick to business phones.

But I don't think Apple has to worry about becoming the next RIM.


RE: A lesson
By SavagePotato on 9/7/2010 10:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't think RIM had to worry about becoming the next Palm, but there it is.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Apple is in imminent danger like RIM. What I am saying though is that even Apple needs to pull their head out of the sand on some of the things they have been so bullish about, or they just might be the next RIM.


By yolamorse on 9/6/2010 10:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
It now has a worldwide user base of 41million. But that might be about to change. Despite its successes, BlackBerry's Canadian maker, Research in Motion (RIM), has run into a spot of trouble. It narrowly avoided a ban in India last week.




"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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