updated 07:42 pm EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Android overall inching forward, but top two take 78.7 percent of traffic
A new study of North American smartphone share by mobile ad platform Chitika shows that some 78.7 percent of all smartphone web traffic in the region is run off just two brands of smartphones: Apple and Samsung, with the former's share being roughly double that of the latter (52.3 percent versus 26.4 percent). Korean manufacturer Samsung saw a higher percentage growth between February and July of this year, at 1.2 percent, but the figure shows how little volatility there remains in the mature NA market.
The date comes from "hundreds of millions" of US and Canadian smartphone ad impression data monitored by the Chitika Ad Network between July 1 and 28, notes the company. The only change in the data-gathering methods was the expansion of an "other" category where no identifiable platform information was gathered from some ad impressions.
Apple, HTC and BlackBerry lost share when compared to February, dropping 0.2 percent, 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Combined with small gains from LG, Google and Alcatel, the combined share of the Android platform overall was 41.4 percent, up slightly from the February's 40.7 percent. Unlike shipment data, ad impressions are considered a good way to measure actual active use by end-users, and thus more representative of genuine sell-through.
Chitika also noted that the US and Canada are considered "mature" markets, with 66 and 55 percent (respectively) of mobile phone users owning a smartphone. As that figure will eventually grow to 100 percent, there is still some room for significant movement, but the percentages are likely to stay roughly the same as long as innovation patterns remain steady.
While painting a reasonably reliable picture of where things stand in the North American market currently, things could be quite different by the end of the year. Both Apple and Samsung plan to release new products in that time-frame, with the iOS maker unleashing its latest iPhone and iPad devices, while Samsung is expected to bring the fourth-generation Galaxy Note phablet.
One possible game-changer in the North American market could come from Apple, if it plans on releasing significantly larger screens in its next iPhone iterations. The company is widely expected to unveil a 4.7-inch model this fall, but could also add a 5.5-inch model to the lineup, though little evidence of that has thus far been seen. If true, and if a recent study that found that 35 percent of Android users might switch if Apple produces a larger-screen iPhone is correct, then there is at least some possibility of notable Android defections to the iOS platform across 2015.