That shrinking feeling—Apple losing dominance in global web traffic

For many years now iOS has led Android in web traffic in many countries around the world, even in countries where Android devices are more popular. There have been several explanations proffered for this.

  • Usability. Apple devices have traditionally been a bit more usable than Android and hence drive more traffic. Note that this difference is partially attributable to Apple occupying a premium market segment—the average Apple device is significantly higher specced than the average Android device.
  • Price sensitivity. Apple users tend to be less price sensitive than Android users and this likely affects propensity to use mobile bandwidth.

But the landscape is changing. Thanks to DeviceAtlas and our global network of business sites powered by goMobi, we have an excellent real-time insight into global traffic patterns. Apple is losing its global dominance country by country, at a significant clip. In the following image countries are coloured according to the dominant source of mobile web traffic, iOS or Android. We are showing the change from 2014 to 2015 and projecting forward a little into 2016.

Interestingly, this change is happening at a time when the web is driving 2.1x more traffic than apps, and gaining.


That shrinking feeling—Apple’s loss of web dominance depicted in yellow

So what’s the explanation for the change? There are likely many reasons but certainly the following are factors:

  • Android dominates sales in most regions and has done so for years
  • Android has made rapid gains in usability and Chrome in particular has been making great strides in 2015.
  • From being a leader, Safari is falling rapidly behind as a web citizen to the point that it is now being called the IE6 of mobile. Recent examples of areas where Safari is falling behind include service workers, pointer events and web push.

Watch out Apple! People are losing interest in native apps and there’s a little green android nipping at your heels.

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