Users of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system tend to be much heavier mobile web browsers than Android users, according to mobile ad network Chitika. That tendency hasn’t changed very much at all during the past six months despite the introduction of a wide variety of new Android hardware. While Apple has updated its iPad, and introduced the iPad mini and the iPhone 5, there have been countless new Android phones, the Kindle Fire HD, and new Nexus devices, but iOS still has about twice as much of web traffic consumption as Android-based browsers.
Chitika found that comparing just traffic impressions coming from iOS and Android hardware, iOS came away with a 67 percent browser share in November, which has fluctuated only slightly but is actually up 2 percent from May. Android has shed that 2 percent, going to 33 percent at the most recent measurement date. The two were closest right around the end of August, which is when Samsung’s Galaxy S III was on the market and selling well, but ahead of Apple’ iPhone 5 release.
The biggest advantage for iOS, however, according to Chitika and other sources, is that Apple’s iPad continues to be a dominant force in terms of web traffic share originating from tablets. Smartphone web traffic remains neck-and-neck, and Apple has yet to really cede any ground in terms of traffic coming from tablets despite the changing market share picture of tablets according to reported volume of devices shipped.
Chitika also suggests that this data indicates mobile users stay loyal to the OS they’re already on when changing devices: Little change over a six-month period must cover upgrade points for a fair number of users, but people seem to be sticking with the OS they know, regardless of what changes are made in terms of hardware released. But the data has repercussions for how advertisers target their mobile ads, since it suggests that a greater percentage of the mobile web-based audience is probably coming from iOS devices, which has a slightly different demographic makeup than an Android-based viewership.