Can Android arrest Apple’s dominance of the mobile web, as mBrowsing rises to 32%?

09 July 2013

The key findings of our Wave 5 Mobile Web Browsing Survey conducted across 11 travel websites in June 2013, are:

On course for 40% this year and the majority of all web traffic during 2014

Mobile traffic remains on course for 40% penetration by year-end 2013 and is expected to overtake PCs before the end of 2014. Separately, statistics from comScore show that mBrowsing is already higher than PCs during mornings and evenings.

It seems that it is now not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ more consumers browse websites with their mobiles rather than PCs, and an avalanche of new device launches over the coming months (iOS7, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iWatch, Retina iPad Mini, iPad 5, etc, plus new handsets and tablets from Samsung) are almost certain to accelerate this trend.

The Android anomaly

Android has made some headway, but still lags Apple by a huge margin in the mobile web. We identified what we called the ‘Android anomaly’ back in early 2012, but Google’s Android platform continues to disappoint in terms of web browsing. With a reported 70% share of mobile devices in Europe and China and 52% in the USA, Android should be leading the mobile web and various lucrative mCommerce markets. Instead, it is a laggard. We think Google has identified this as a problem and fixing it is probably behind the recent management changes that have led to Sundar Pichai being put in charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps.

Luxury leads the way

There may also be demographic differences between Android and Apple users, but iOS clearly remains the darling of the luxury consumer. With our top site showing 42.6% of its affluent user base already browsing with a mobile device, luxury brands really do have to get their acts together and offer great mobile brand experiences to increasingly mobile consumers to stop them defecting to finger-friendlier brands. But, there again, so does everyone else...

Responsive design is now a vital part of website design. Responsive design enables a website to identify which device is being used to browse the site and offers differently configured templates from the same cms to create finger-friendly usability, with content and menus optimised for PCs, tablets and smartphones. This is a complex area of design and build if you are to avoid a lowest common denominator design, due to the multifarious combinations of screen size, orientation, browsers and resolutions.

Our next mobile web browsing statistics will be published in January 2014.

Nucleus experience in mobile-friendly web design

Nucleus has designed mobile-friendly websites since 2011. An early example is our website for iconic Irish luxury hotel

More recent responsive designs include: CV Travel, Topping Rose House and Regent Hotels & Resorts

Peter Matthews
Nucleus Founder & CEO
July 2013

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