Samsung tops Apple in internet usage

Samsung GS3 with Chrome

For years, Apple has taken comfort in the fact that their platform has been the clear leader in internet usage. Apple correlates high browser usage with increased monetization, since iPhone and iPad users are more likely to make online purchases than their Android counterparts. Samsung has now taken the internet usage crown according to data from StatCounter, which has been tracking many different mobile devices, platforms, and browsers for the past year (from July 2012 to Jun 2013).

Nokia was the global internet usage leader a year ago, but lost its place to Apple in February. Samsung took a 25.47 percent share in June, 2013, beating Apple's 25.09 percent, and Nokia's 21.96 percent. (These statistics represent world-wide mobile internet use). 

Also, the Chrome browser is now a leader in world-wide internet usage - increasing its market share from 23.84 percent a year ago to 32.46 percent today. Internet Explorer subsequently dropped from 40.89 percent to 32.46 percent over the same period. 

Now, it's important to keep in mind that browser usage statistics vary greatly between organizations that track such information. (The online browser usage tracker, Percent of the Internet, posts different numbers).

This shift toward Android (more specifically Samsung) and Chrome does make one wonder about the future of mobile monetization. Apple, despite no longer being a world-wide internet usage leader, makes developers considerably more money on its platform than Android. Principally, this is because Android's growth is fueled not by high-end devices, but by low-end ones. Those customers often don't have data plans, and aren't willing to purchase apps. That being said, this shift in statistics might persuade app developers to take Android more seriously - launching more apps on Android first, or simultaneously with, iOS. 


Usage vs marketshare

Despite losing considerable marketshare to Android, iPhone (and iPad) dominate mobile internet usage - a key factor in Apple's continued success according to Brain S. Hall, of Read Write Web.

iPhone 4: CC Image courtesy of William Hook on Flickr

iPhone 4: CC Image courtesy of William Hook on Flickr

A new study, this one by Experian, shows again that when it comes to actual usage, iPhone handily beats Android, with iPhone users spending an average of 26 more minutes each day on their devices. Android users use their devices 49 minutes per day - for iPhone users, that figure is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Hall notes that it is not clear why Apple retains this lead. (Other technology journalists have argued that Apple users, due to their higher income bracket, spend more money on apps and conduct more e-commerce transactions). Nevertheless, Apple's lead is substantial.

...that 26 minutes per day adds up to 3 hours a week, 156 hours a year - the rough equivalent of a full month of regular workdays for every user. That difference is critical in many ways, helping Apple continue to attract carriers and developers to its platform - and helps make its higher prices more palatable to consumers. 
For carriers, the iPhone's advantage in engagement makes it more valuable: more usage = more bandwidth = higher revenues. That will help Apple continue to hold carriers hostage to its hefty subsidy demands. 

In addition, iPhone users spend more time emailing, texting, using social media, and taking photographs than Android users. This lead reinforces Apple CEO Tim Cook's statement (at the D-11 conference) that "winning, for us, has never been about making the most."

Android and iOS mobile usage.