Can Android arrest Apple’s dominance of the mobile web?

09 July 2013

Today, Nucleus, the UK brand and digital consultancy, reported its 5th wave of research into the growth of mobile website browsing in the travel industry.

Key findings of the Wave 5 Nucleus Mobile Web Browsing Survey, conducted across 11 travel websites in June 2013, are:

  • Mobile browsing (mBrowsing) now accounts for 32% of all web traffic, rising inexorably from an average 27.1% in January
  • Year-on-year growth is up 56%
  • Mobile traffic is on course for 40% penetration by December and expected to overtake PCs before the end of 2014. Separately comScore reports that mBrowsing is already higher than PCs during mornings and evenings
  • Apple remains dominant with 84% share of mobile web operating systems, but Android shows highest growth since our survey began, up from 8%-11% largely thanks to Samsung Galaxy devices
  • iPhone browsing is now growing faster than iPad, indicating changes in user behaviour and, possibly, greater availability of mobile-friendly websites
  • Luxury websites still lead the way, with the top site showing 42.6% of its browsers are already using mobile devices

Peter Matthews, Nucleus founder and CEO, commented “Our latest survey confirms the dramatic changes in user behaviour we identified in earlier studies are reshaping the digital landscape.”

“It is clearly not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the majority of consumers browse websites with their mobiles rather than PCs. An avalanche of new device launches over the next few months - iOS7, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iWatch, Retina iPad Mini, iPad 5, plus new handsets and tablets from Samsung and others - are certain to accelerate the trend.”

“It’s now an urgent requirement for every travel website to offer a seamless mobile experience to compete for mobile search traffic, or risk losing half their online business to more mobile-friendly competitors.”

Matthews continued “Android is making some headway, but still lags Apple by a mile. This is despite Android having a 70% share of mobile operating systems across Europe. Google really has its work cut out if Android is to compete effectively in the lucrative mCommerce marketplace. It needs better browsers for starters.”

“With our top site showing 42.6% of its affluent user base browsing with a mobile device, luxury brands in particular really have to get their acts together and offer great mobile web brand experiences.”

Nucleus has designed mobile-friendly websites since 2011 when it launched Ballyfin and has recently completed many more, including: CV Travel, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Topping Rose House and Haven.