iOS Dominates Mobile Traffic

Google Android may have achieved leadership in reach and penetration of devices in the OS wars, but Apple iOS remains the dominant force overall in digital activity. The latest report on connectivity via devices from comScore shows iOS with a 43.1% share of the mobile audience, followed by Google Android with 34.1% and Research in Motion with 15.4%.

The metric reflects a three-month average ending in August. While Google Android phones are clearly outselling any other platform in the smartphone category, the iOS reach across iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch systems provides Apple with an even greater audience, connected via mobile, per comScore. On the tablet front especially, there is virtually no competition in audience, with the iPad and iPad 2 accounting for 97.2% of of all U.S. tablet traffic.

On a traffic basis, iOS devices continue to outperform the scale of their installed base. The Apple OS accounts for 58.5% of all browser-based page views from connected devices, while Android devices send 31.9% of mobile traffic and RIM 5%.

Tablets are becoming increasingly important mobile drivers, especially in mobile commerce, comScore says. More than half of tablet users (56%) used their device to look up product information or pricing and 54% viewed product ratings and reviews.

As anecdotal evidence has been suggesting in recent months, comScore confirms that the tablet is a comfortable place to shop and buy, with nearly half of users making a purchase on the device. The tablet market also represents some of the most coveted consumers. Despite the broadening demographics of iPad owners, comScore finds tablet users still reflect early adopter profiles: 54.7% male, 30% in the 15-34 age bracket and 45.9% in households with at least $100,000 in income. 

The overall share of digital traffic from connected devices remains relatively small at 6.8% for the quarter ending in August. But the increased coverage of mobile broadband and WiFi availability are driving usage. In the last three months alone, the share of all mobile traffic coming over WiFi increased 3 points to 37.2%. At the same time, tablets, that traditionally have been heavily WiFi-reliant are showing a move toward mobile networks, with 10% of their traffic now coming from the available 3G connections.

The already-dominant iOS platform may accelerate even more starting tomorrow, when Apple drops its iOS Version 5 update. According to preliminary accounts, the upgrade even speeds browsing and data access for existing Apple devices.

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