In August 2011, more than one third (37.2%) of US digital traffic coming from mobile phones occurred via a WiFi connection, according to data released in October 2011 by comScore. This figure grew nearly 9% in the past three months.
On the other hand, tablets, which traditionally required a WiFi connection to access the internet, are increasingly driving traffic using mobile broadband access. In August, nearly 10% of traffic from tablets occurred via a mobile network connection.
iOS Leading Connected Platform Traffic Driver
Although the Android platform accounts for the highest share of the smartphone market (43.7% in August), comScore data shows its total audience among mobile and connected devices in current use is eclipsed by the Apple iOS audience. The iOS platform had the highest share of connected devices and smartphones in use at 43.1%, fueled by the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market, while Android accounted for 34.1% of the total mobile and connected device universe.
The iOS platform also accounts for the largest share of internet traffic, measured in terms of browser-based page views, in the U.S. at present. When measuring market share of internet traffic by platform, iOS accounted for more than half (58.5%) of the share of total non-computer traffic in the U.S. Android OS ranked second, delivering 31.9% of overall non-computer traffic in August. With iOS having a significantly higher share of traffic (58.5%) compared to its share of devices (43.1%), comScore analysis suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of internet content.
Mobile Phones Drive Digital Traffic
The share of non-computer digital traffic for the US stood at 6.8% in August 2011, with approximately two-thirds of that traffic coming from mobile phones, and tablets accounting for much of the remainder.
Half of US Mobile Population Uses Mobile Media
The mobile media user population (those who browse the mobile web, access applications, or download content) grew 19% in the past year to more than 116 million people at the end of August 2011.
iPads Dominate Tablet Traffic
In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2% of all tablet traffic in the US. iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of internet traffic than iPhones (46.8% compared to 42.6% of all iOS device traffic).
In addition, 54.7% of all tablet owners in August 2011 were male and nearly 30% were age 25-34. Nearly half (45.9%) of tablet owners belonged to households earning $100K and more.
Tablet owners also exhibited significant use of their devices throughout the entire online shopping process – from doing the initial planning, conducting product and store research, making price comparisons, to finally transacting. In the past month, more than half of tablet owners looked up product or price information for a specific store (56%) and read customer ratings and reviews while on a tablet (54%).
Furthermore, nearly three in five tablet owners updated their social networking status or commented on others’ status on their device during September, while slightly less than half shared their location using a location-sharing site during.
iPad Dominates Planned Purchases
The majority of businesses and consumers planning on buying a tablet device intend to buy an Apple iPad, according to data released in September 2011 by ChangeWave Research. Among corporate buyers, demand for iPad has remained steady since May 2011, while demand for Motorola and RIM/Blackberry has substantially decreased. Eighty percent of businesses planning to buy a tablet device said they would buy an iPad in Both May and August 2011.
The Apple iPad is even more dominant among consumers, judging by results of an August 2011 survey asking consumers planning a tablet purchase which tablet they intend to buy. Eighty-five percent of consumers plan to buy an iPad.