So, Google, where are all the Android browsers?

01 August 2011

According to Millenial Media, the US independent mobile ad network, in the second quarter of 2011 Apple had 49% of the mobile application mix, Android 41% and RIM (Blackberry) 9%. But looking at the Google Analytics data of a sample of 10 travel sites, this market share is not reflected in mobile users’ browsing habits, especially for premium and luxury brands.

Why is this? Are Android devices not used for browsing, while Apple products are? Is this why Android tablets are now being given away free by Best Buy in the US when you buy a Samsung HD TV? And why HP have just ditched their OS and tablet business (just weeks after launching it)?

While Apple’s iPad powers ahead with consistently longer and deeper browsing and lower bounce rates than other devices, the iPhone is firmly in second place way ahead of all Android smartphones and tablets put together. You can simply forget the rest and question whether it’s worth spending any money developing for them. RIP BlackBerry, HPOS and Symbian.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the current stranglehold Apple devices have on mobile website browsing travel sites, especially in the premium and luxury markets, which we monitor regularly. Here are ten in our sample survey:

Website 1

6.69% mobile traffic split by: iPad 47%, iPhone 30%, Android 12%, iPod 6%, BB 1.5%, rest nowhere

Website 2

10.1% mobile traffic: iPad 20%, iPhone 38%, Android 26%, BB 8.8%, Symbian 3%

Website 3

10.1% mobile traffic: iPad 74%, iPhone 19%, Android 2%, BB 1.6%

Website 4

10.9% mobile traffic: iPad 58%, iPhone 30%, Android 7%, iPod 1.5%, BB 1.5%

Website 5

9.1% mobile traffic: iPad 57%, iPhone 32%, Android 6%, iPod 1.5%, Symbian 1%, BB 1%

Website 6

10.1% mobile traffic: iPad 48%, iPhone 39%, Android 6.4%, iPod 2.7%, BB 2%

Website 7

15.3% mobile traffic: iPad 54%, iPhone 33%, Android 8%, iPod 2%

Website 8

9.6% mobile traffic: iPad 46%, iPhone 36%, Android 9%, BB 2.1%, iPod 1.6%, Symbian >1%

Website 9

8.9% mobile traffic: iPhone 47%, iPad 20%, Android 14%, BB 5%, Symbian 3%

Website 10

10.3% mobile traffic: iPhone 48%, iPad 39%, Android 6%, BB 2.9%, iPod 1%

Overall averages

10.2% mobile traffic, of which iPad has 46.3%, iPhone 35.2%, Android 9.64%, BB 2.64%, iPod 1.63%, Symbian >1%

This data shows the market is changing rapidly, with mobile devices being increasingly used for browsing and booking, setting what we believe is now a firm trend. While mobile browsing is growing month-on-month, there has also been a rapid slowdown in PC sales across Europe (Acer down 44.6% in units sold, Asus -22.9%, Dell -12.7%, and HP -6.1%, only Apple increased by 0.5%), while Apple sales have apparently overtaken Lenovo in China...

The stellar growth in iPad sales continues unabated. Apple forecasts iPads will account for 294m units sold by 2015, so we are certain that the growing importance of mobile browsing will quickly start to drive the look, feel and build of tomorrow’s websites; with or, quite possibly, without Android.

Peter Matthews
Nucleus Founder & CEO
August 2011

Agree? Disagree?
Share your views by emailing horizons@nucleus.co.uk