updated 01:45 pm EDT, Tue April 19, 2011
comScore says iOS beats Android when non-phones in
iOS outperforms Android by a wide 59 percent margin when every class of device is considered, comScore found Tuesday. In its first real study of mobile platforms beyond smartphones, the research team saw the iPad, iPhone, and iPod making up a combined 37.87 million devices in the US, or 16.2 percent share. Google's combined share represented just 23.76 million devices, or 10.2 percent of the mobile sphere.
The breakdown also disabused notions that ownership was concentrated among Apple loyalists. About 27.3 percent of American iPad owners also have an iPhone, only slightly higher than Apple's total 25.2 percent share of the smartphone market. iPod touch ownership was slightly lower than the iPhone base, revealing that most of Apple's iOS user base often only has one device and is using something else or nothing at all for the alternative platform.
"Though it's frequently assumed that the Apple user base is composed of dedicated Apple 'fanboys,' there's not a tremendous amount of overlapping mobile device access among these users," comScore Senior VP Mark Donovan said.
Android proponents have usually been quick to tout leadership in smartphones, where mobile share usually has the most impact. The platform has still had little traction outside of the phone arena and has had few sales of MP3 players. The most successful Android tablet so far, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, took roughly three months to reach two million units where Apple topped 3.3 million iPads in its first quarter and moved a total of 14.8 million in 2010. Very few Android MP3 players exist and are only just now getting wider reach through the Galaxy Player 4 and 5.
Android 3.0 tablets so far haven't followed smartphones into the same growth platform, in part through the lack of apps, a sometimes sluggish interface, and frequent attempts to require a 3G data plan that raises the actual price.
Examining iPad ownership also gave an opportunity to show what other platforms were in use and the age bias. A large 35.4 percent of Apple tablet owners were using a smartphone from a predominantly Android-based phone maker like LG, Motorola, or Samsung. BlackBerry owners made up 17.5 percent of the group, and 3.4 percent were unusually using a Symbian smartphone from Nokia.
Apple's core iPad audience is dominated by 25 to 34 year olds, who at 27 percent almost exactly matched the leading share in smartphones. Older 35 to 44 year olds, who can best afford the tablet, were next closest at 20.3 percent. No other age group had more than eight percent and again lined up with smartphone share.