Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple iPhone eats up 50% share of all mobile data traffic globally

Android and iPhone share of sales and mobile data

Apple’s slice of mobile data traffic has grown to now exceed 50% share in the US, UK and in global figures, according to the latest monthly mobile data traffic report by AdMob.

Apple iphone eats up 50% share of all mobile data traffic globally
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AdMob just released its first monthly mobile ad trends report following its acquisition by Google earlier this month. Despite Apple’s lead in rank and growth, the new report now focuses much of its attention on Google’s third place Android and RIM’s fourth ranking BlackBerry.

The new report also comments on second place Symbian and the fifth place Windows Mobile, without making any detailed comments about the iPhone and iPod touch at all.

Global changes from September

In the worldwide market, AdMob notes that Apple advanced its lead in smartphone traffic share from 43% last month to an even 50%. Symbian slipped from 29% to 25%, while third place Android grew from 10% to 11%. RIM’s share fell slightly from 8% to 7%, Windows Mobile dropped from 5% to 3%.

Octobers’ worldwide figures for hardware manufactures closely reflected those platform numbers; Apple’s hardware numbers as the only iPhone vendor are identical at 50%, while Nokia phones represented nearly all of the Symbian traffic, and HTC accounted for almost all of the Android and Windows Mobile share. RIM and Palm also act as the exclusive providers of their own platforms as well.

This indicates that actual smartphone use is closely tied to the top four hardware vendors and their respective software platforms, erasing the conventional idea that a large number of significant hardware manufacturers are behind licensed platforms such as Symbian, Android, and Windows Mobile.

Android and iPhone share of sales and mobile data

US and UK markets

The same trend is visible in the US and UK markets. In the US, AdMob reports that Apple advanced by 7.2% from 48% to 55% of all mobile traffic, while Android grew from 17% to 20% (almost entirely from sales of HTC models). RIM slipped slightly from 14% to 12%, while an initial surge of traffic by Palm Pre WebOS users collapsed from 10% to just 5% in October.

The race in the US is between Apple, HTC, RIM and Palm, with incremental advancement for Apple and HTC at the expense of other smaller manufacturers and platforms, which all lost share apart from RIM, which remained stagnant. Symbian does not even register as a blip in the US market.

In the UK, Apple’s share grew even larger, advancing from 71% in September to a commanding 74% share in October. Symbian and Android both slipped a percentage point, from 12% and 11% in the previous report to 11% and 10% in October, respectively.

Focus on fractionalization

To keep things interesting, AdMob virtually ignored the iPhone in its October report to examine the model distribution within the BlackBerry and Android platforms. It found that among BlackBerry users, 63% of all traffic was connected to the Curve, Bold and Tour models, which are all conventional BlackBerry devices with full keyboards.

The Pearl, a more compact Nokia-style model aimed at consumers, ate up 16% of the BlackBerry pie, while the Storm, a full screen model aimed at the iPhone, amounted to just 12% of RIM’s data traffic.

This indicates that BlackBerry users are, unsurprisingly, flocking to conventional BlackBerry devices and not to RIM’s effort to clone the iPhone. RIM itself does not break out its sales between models, so AdMob’s statistics are an interesting peek into what devices the company is actually selling and which its users are actually using.

AdMob also similarly detailed the Android platform, which in October was still almost exclusively dominated by HTC phones. Since the Android phones on the market are currently Windows Mobile devices adapted to run the alternative OS, HTC has enjoyed a first mover advantage in being able to deliver the first couple generations of Android phones, starting with the Dream (T-Mobile G1), then the Magic (T-Mobile myTouch), and the third generation Hero (Verizon’s Droid Eris).

Motorola recently threw its hat in the ring with the CLIQ and Milestone (Verizon Droid), which was launched in the first week of November. AdMob included a mid-November look at Android traffic, which shows that the Droid captured 24% of all traffic within a couple weeks of being on sale. Whether Motorola will overshadow HTC, cannibalize its sales, or grow alongside it remains to be seen. It’s less likely the Android bubble will pop the way WebOS did over the last month, since Verizon is locking its Droid buyers into contracts with steep $350 termination fees.

However, Android software authors will need to consider whether to invest in creating software that targets the unique features of the Droid (including its much higher resolution screen and different operation system version) as opposed to aiming at the much wider HTC market.

AdMob’s statistics indicate that the promised “18 Android phones by the end of 2009” probably won’t show up as significant shares of the Android platform, but next year promises to add a variety of other flavor differentiation to the Android pie, including Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X10, which has the Droid’s screen resolution but which uses the older operating system version of HTC phones.

  • danpoarch

    Goodnight WiMo!

  • http://www.marketingtactics.com davebarnes

    Disappointing.
    Reportage instead of the usual insightful analysis.

  • sprockkets

    It’s another Prince McLean article from appleinsider.com. The last article though was better.

  • http://twitter.com/NateTehGreat nat

    Glad someone noted the lack of iPhone/iPod touch info in AdMob’s report. I found that weird.

  • http://jonnytilney.com Jon T

    I don’t think the report needed to have an iPhone section just to state the obvious – the figures and charts positively scream the news!

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  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    I have to admit I tend to look at the smaller players as well. iPhone is kind of “hors concours”, Apples headway is undisputed yet boring.

    What is fascinating me is that Android is using a lot of bandwidth as well: 11% data share / 3% unit share = 3,7 which is even higher than 50% / 18% = 2,7 for iPhone. There can be tons of explanations but it looks like exchanging WiMo for Android wasn’t a bad gamble for HTC. Even more: it looks like after the iPhone they’ve got the second phone that actually gets used as a smartphone.

  • zaph

    The global sales per platform numbers are wrong. Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the last quarter. Also note that the percentages are incorrect for the units sold.

    [Yes that was a typo in the numbers, but % and pie chart are accurate. -Dan ]

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  • beanie

    Price writes:
    “all mobile data traffic globally”

    You mean mobile ad data traffic from 15,000 mobile Web sites. Admob stats come from Admob ad requests. For Oct, Admob had about 10 billion ad requests. It also includes ad requests from iPhone apps. iPhone request about 22% of ads which comes to about 73 million ad requests a day or a little over 2 billion ads for Oct. iPhone is a great mobile ad requesting device.

    The top of the Admob report says where the data comes from.

    Placing AdMob Metrics in Context:
    http://metrics.admob.com/2009/10/placing-admob-metrics-in-context/

  • airmanchairman

    @Berend Schotanus: I’ve seen the high data share to unit share ratio of Android phones explained elsewhere as down to the fact that Motorola Droids (which account for 25% of all Droid handset traffic) are HD-video capable, and predict network misery in the future for those carriers offering the handset. Possible?

  • airmanchairman

    That’s in the US, of course…

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    Microsoft can’t be happy. Of course this was expected. Why use an OS that has a cost attached, when you can get one that’s as good, if not better, for free?

    As to the WebOS drop, I think its too early in the game to make a call on Palm’s success. The Pre is a nice phone, very competitive against everything but the IPhone. It appears that Palm has learned it’s lesson after playing with Windows Mobile, and is concentrating on the customer experience. Whether or not they do well enough to saty in business is something we’ll have to wait and see.

    As to Blackberry, Blackberry addicts don’t do touch screens. So the Storm is a weird device to them. I’m not surprised that regular Blackberrys are outselling it, even though its not a bad phone.

    I don’t remember seeing any Symbian phones on my hunt, it’s possible that they aren’t sold in Canada.

    Anyway, I ended up with an IPhone. It does what I need, quickly and easily.

  • foke

    hm…useful for me information

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