Android tightens mobile dominance


Tom Smith, founder of GlobalWebIndex, exclusively talks us through their latest research into mobile and tablet usage trends around the world, showing that Android rules the smartphone market and will very soon become dominant in tablets too.

We all know that content is device neutral – great content just wants to be found after all. But what’s less well known is just how quickly tablets and mobiles are becoming the go-to device of choice.

Our first-ever Stream Device Report, looking at mobile and tablet behaviour in Q1 has found that tablet adoption increased 282% between Q1 2011 and Q1 2013.

Curiously, and despite all the publicity for the iPad, the dominant platform for tablets is likely to become Android very soon. We estimate that while the two operating systems are currently level pegging in many markets, Android will take nearly 70% of the tablet market by 2016.

That would reflect its current dominance of the smartphone market, where it has 60% share now and is on course for an 80% share by 2016. Despite iOS’ lead in key markets—including its 53% share of the US smartphone market—Apple owns just 16% of the global smartphone market.

As the profile of tablet users broadens out from its current wealthy middle-aged, male archetype, the brand will continue to lose share.

In the app market, gaming remains the most popular category, with Google Maps and Facebook among the most used types of apps globally.

This research underlines how important it is for brands to have a multi-device strategy remains crucial. Many key digital tasks are now split between online, mobile and tablet and even as mobile and tablet take share, that split will remain.