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Who’s Ahead of whom in Mobile Web Browsing? Rim Beating Android or is it?

August 26, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

A mobile payment specialist in the US, Bango, has found that web browsing on Android devices was up 400% between the first and second quarters this year.  This is compared to just a 13% up-tick in volume for Apple devices.  Interestingly enough, this translates to a 16% loss in market share for Apple.

Over the same period, it seems that Blackberry beat out both Android and iOS.  Ray Anderson, the CEO of Bango, says, “”Even with the advent of Apple’s new iAd platform and Google’s acquisition of AdMob, BlackBerry still represents the best volume opportunity for mobile advertising in the USA.”

Hold on just one moment!  Haven’t we been reporting in recent weeks that Android is outselling iPhones?  Or that global market share for Android surpasses iOS?  So what is going on here?

It turns out that Bango’s numbers are based on visits to some specific WAP websites.  Android and iOS will often bring you to the desktop version of a site and not the WAP version.  Of course Blackberry’s numbers are higher for WAP site visits, as those are loaded by default!

Martin Hill helps to clear this up:

Bango asserts that the Blackberry grabbed 37% of “mobile web browsing” marketshare compared to 27% for Android and only 26% from the iPhone.

Now you may ask, how the heck did Blackberry users suffering with their shockingly bad web browsers manage to beat both Android and iPhone users at web browsing?

Well, the answer is they didn’t. Bango is only measuring a selection of bandwidth limited WAP and mobile web sites whereas the vast majority of iPhone and Android users browse full web sites with their excellent webkit browsers.

This is confirmed by Millennial’s July 2010 report that indicated iPhone users as usual had captured 55% of web browsing amongst smartphones vs 19% for Android, 16% for Blackberry and only 4% for Windows Mobile.

Likewise Admob’s April 2010 figures put iOS at 40% vs Android at 26% vs Blackberry at 5%.

Net Applications WebMetrics analysis indicated that the iPhone actually gained more global share than Android in May 2010 (pre-iPhone 4 no less), going from 30.3 percent to 32.8 percent. In the same timeframe, Android went from 5.3 percent to 6.2 percent. Blackberry captured a measly 3.59%.

Note that these stats don’t include the 2 other members of the iOS platform, the iPad and the iPod Touch, which would almost double the share taken by the iPhone.

In other words, Android is still being beaten by the iPhone in web browsing marketshare, not surprising considering the installed base of iOS devices (100 million+) far exceeds that of Android and Blackberry is MIA

Thank you Martin.  All I can say is don’t trust the analysts.

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