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iPad dominates Android in mobile browsing

Apple continues to dominate in terms of tablet web usage, according to a variety of different sources. Data analytics company Chitika put Apple's tablet massively in the lead, with a 91.07 per cent share. The company noted that while some sales figures "indicate a large split in the tablet market between Apple and Google, there is no correlation with browsing activity".

In the July 2012 report, the iPad's share did fall slightly (by 0.34 per cent), but even so, other tablets are classified in terms of impressions per 100 iPad impressions, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab winning out with just 2.5.

Netmarketshare's figures combine mobile and tablets, and Apple's position isn't quite so rosy, but iOS nonetheless remains dominant. In terms of general OS market share, the iPad and iPhone accounted for nearly two-thirds in July, and Mobile Safari dominated browser usage, with a 66.22 per cent share, compared to nearest rival Android Browser, on 19.41 per cent.

Writing for Cloud Four Blog, Jason Grigsby tried to make sense of the perceived disparity between market share and web traffic, with Android dominating in the former regarding smartphones, and Apple dominating in the latter. Using figures from Akamai, he noted that Apple is extremely dominant on Wi-Fi connections, but Mobile Safari and Android WebKit have similar figures on cellular networks. Grigsby noted that all such figures have inherent biases (most often being US-focussed), but nonetheless supposed issues to blame could be Android's Wi-Fi joining UI, or people on lower-income levels being less likely to have access to Wi-Fi networks. There's also the possibility that while Android devices are hugely popular in the smartphone space, the iPad is increasingly seen as a replacement for a home PC, with which people are more likely to use Wi-Fi.

Regardless, from a web design and development standpoint, the figures once again show that market share sales trends aren't nearly as important as usage figures when prioritising targets for testing sites and online apps.

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