updated 01:15 pm EDT, Thu June 23, 2011
Data reveals gap between iPad, Android tablets
The iPad represents the vast majority of Internet traffic from tablets, comScore found Thursday. Worldwide, Apple's tablet made up over 89 percent of use on average during this past May. Android made up almost all of the remaining 11 percent, with the BlackBerry PlayBook possibly accounting for some share in Canada and the US.
Out of all non-computer Internet use, the iPad still didn't outrun smartphones but was often competitive. Apple's overall greatest footprint was in Canada, where just over a third of all non-PC traffic came from an iPad, where it was weakest in poorer or mostly phone-focused countries like India and Japan. US tablet use was almost exclusively dominated by Apple at 97 percent.
Non-tablet share appeared to roughly correlate to market share. Android had 35.6 percent share in the US to the iPhone's 23.5 percent, but its share was often lower in other countries where Google and its partners had spent less attention. Canada once again had the widest gap where 34.6 percent of non-PC use was on an iPhone and just 8.2 percent came from Android. Apple had an unusually deep hold on Canada with the iPod touch as well, where the MP3 player was 14.9 percent of mobile traffic.
comScore also learned of an atypical preference for Wi-Fi among iOS users. While the iPad's heavy emphasis on Wi-Fi-only versions led to 91.9 percent of US owners using the format, iPhone owners also used it more than twice as often as their Android counterparts: even with 3G an option, 47.5 percent used Wi-Fi where just 21.7 percent of Android users did the same. Attempts by Motorola and Samsung to push 3G tablets led to just 65.2 percent of Android tablet traffic coming from Wi-Fi.
No explanation was given for the gap on phones. Ease of reaching Wi-Fi settings might have played a role, although Android phone makers have been more aggressive in adoptiong HSPA+, LTE, WiMAX and other fast 3G or 4G. Current iPhones are using regular HSPA and won't likely leap to HSPA+ until the next iPhone.
Researchers rounded out the study by noting that news website owners weren't in any immediate danger of needing to make tablet-native apps or pages. iPads and other tablets don't account for more than 2.8 percent of traffic and more often represent less than two percent. The low population of tablets in most countries outside North America and Europe may have contributed, as will have the lack of optimization or native apps.