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Study: iPad has 88 percent of global tablet web traffic

updated 01:00 am EST, Fri November 18, 2011

Casts doubt on competitor tablet sell-through

A new analysis of web traffic share of iPad and other tablets suggests that genuine Android tablet sell-through to consumers may be even lower than previously thought. The iPad is widely reported to have about 75 percent marketshare, but web traffic shows the real penetration is closer to 88 percent globally and even higher in the US, approaching 96 percent, Royal Pingdom reports.

While Apple tends to report actual numbers sold through to consumers when commenting on iPad sales, most of the competitors only mention sales to wholesalers, not end users. Consequently, Android tablet sales often look larger than they actually are.

Last month, Android division head Andy Rubin cited six million Android tablets in the market, but didn't specify user sales versus shipments. Even so, by the same point in time, Apple had reported selling around 40 million iPads in total, and were selling them to users as fast as they could make them. This gives the iPad an 85 percent marketshare when considering shipments.

The difference between shipments and sales, however, might be detected by tablet web traffic -- since it is a logical assumption that nearly all tablets of any sort will be used to surf the web once in consumers' hands. The survey company comScore reported in October that iPads were accounting for 95.5 percent of US web traffic, which is almost the exact same percentage the iPad is credited for (95.7 percent) in total video hours streamed as reported by Ooyala in the summer quarter.

At least in the US, the iPad appears to be dominating sales far more than its "shipment" marketshare would suggest. It may also point to the idea that non-iPad tablets are getting the majority of their sales outside the US, which would support StatCounter's claim that iPads have 87.6 percent of global tablet traffic (Android tablets are said to have 11 percent, leaving just one percent for the other tablet platform makers). For perspective, however, even the iPad's impressive sales and web use give it only 1.2 percent of global web traffic overall (almost two percent in the US).

It's possible the results are skewed by presuming that Android tablet owners surf the web considerably less per capita than iPad owners, but otherwise the analysis paints a grim portrait of poor sell-through of Android tablets in North America, with companies relying on non-US sales and shipment figures to bolster the image of Android as a real competitor in the tablet space. Android phones, on the other hand, continue to do extremely well -- but Apple's position in tablets is more akin to its position in the music-player segment. [via Royal Pingdom]

by MacNN Staff




  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Creating a market

    Apple entered an existing market with the iPhone in 2007. The tablet market effectively didn't exist before the iPad was unleashed. Apple singlehandedly created the tablet market and they pretty much own it for now. Unlike the smartphone market competitors were caught with their pants down when the iPad come out. It was a lightning bolt out of the blue.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One thing for certain, both

    OSX and iOS certainly have room to grow if that means anything at all. Why does Wall Street continue to say that Apple doesn't seem as though there isn't anymore growth left in the company by way of saying growth will slow. They can't possibly predict such a thing when the overall computer market seems so huge and Apple share still seems to be growing.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NETFLIX is stupid

    So with all this net traffic usage showing that iOS dominates by a huge margin, NETFLIX releases their new version for Android first. Then stating iOS will have it much later. Good job NETFLIX. Way to cater to the right dominant platform.

  1. wayne123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hate to admit it, but seems true

    I really hate the admit it, but seems that this is very true from what I am seeing as an apps developer. I developed a game specifically for the Honeycomb tablets ( Published it in the Android Market - found out quickly that it doesn't seem like there is much download activities in the Market for the latest 3.0 and up tablets. The folks that downloaded it seem the be mostly from the Asian countries, none from the US.

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