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Most mobile Web traffic comes from iOS, not Android, study says

The year 2012 saw an overwhelming number of mobile product launches: two new generations of iPad and an iPad Mini from Apple, Google’s Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, the iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy S3, among others. While tablets and mobile phones play many different roles in today’s world, one thing is for sure: more devices means more users surfing the Internet.

The folks over at Chitika Insights decided to see if these releases had any impact on which platform tended to frequent the Web more frequently over the past few months.  To do this, the company monitored ad impressions coming from an iOS or Android device from May 27 through Nov. 27, noting the differences in Web traffic volume.

According to Chitika’s findings, 67 percent of the measured Web traffic during this time period came from iOS devices. Android accounted for about half of the overall traffic at 33 percent. Android traffic appeared to hit a peak around the end of August, which can likely be attributed to strong Galaxy S3 sales. Traffic from iOS devices saw an upswing in October and November following Apple’s iPad 4 and iPad Mini release.

While these numbers represent a sizeable discrepancy between operating systems, Chitika notes that little has changed in the overall distribution between Android and iOS. This is largely because of Apple’s iPad, the data analysis website says.

“While third-party and our own observations have pegged smartphone Web traffic share as a near-tie, Apple has a decided advantage in the tablet marker, where its iPad is unquestionably the hottest seller in the sector,” the report reads. “This advantage is the largest contributing factor to Apple’s lead over Android.”

The data also suggests that users typically stick with one operating system rather than switching between Android and iOS when upgrading their device.  If this is true, Android device manufacturers are largely competing amongst each other, while Apple does not have to worry about its user base being challenged.

Interestingly enough, while iOS devices seem account for most of the Web traffic among mobile devices, Android has dominated the market share for 2012. As a recent report from the IDC noted, Android accounts for 68 percent of the mobile market while iOS claims 18 percent.