Home Report on Mobile Web Use Displays Apple/Android Usability Issues, Successes

Report on Mobile Web Use Displays Apple/Android Usability Issues, Successes

According to a report released today from mobile advertising company AdMob, smartphones accounted for nearly three times more use than their relative market share last month. The report also found that relative use of both mobile-specific websites and HTML sites was highest on Apple and Android devices.

Results were based on user-generated requests for mobile ads during April 2009 as well as on a Gartner report on smartphone sales in Q4 2008.

According to the Admob release, “While Gartner estimated global smartphone sales represented 12 percent of total device sales in 2008, 35 percent of AdMob’s worldwide ad requests in April 2009 came from smartphones. This means that smartphones accounted for nearly three times more usage than their relative market share.” This might seem a bit of a no-brainer; mobile web browsing on traditional handsets is nothing short of torture and leaves the user less in the mood for checking out ads and more in the mood for bloodsport.

So, in the smartphone category, which devices were most conducive to consumer interest in ads? We’re sure advertisers are dying to know, but this also gives a good picture of browser usability and speed as well as connection reliability.

The iPhone/iTouch group led the pack with 43 percent of mobile web and 65 percent of HTML requests, all on an 8 percent share of the smartphone market. Devices with the Android OS represented less than one percent of the market but accounted for three percent of mobile web and nine percent of HTML ad requests. Though none of us here majored in higher maths, we see this as a sign that if Android devices can capture more of the smartphone market, they might be able to outstrip Apple devices in mobile web use.

The disappointing underacheiver of the report was undoubtedly the Symbian OS, which had 52 percent of the smartphone market but generated only 36 percent of mobile web and 7 percent of HTML requests. This is a fairly good indicator that the Symbian OS might – just might – not be bringing the Internet to life in its truest, most usable form. Satisfied users of Symbian-running devices are invited to rebut this speculation in the comments.

The top devices for web use were from Apple, Sony (the PSP), and HTC.

Overall, smartphones’ use of the mobile web (again, according to AdMob) as compared to all mobile devices is up about 10 percent from last year. However, Apple devices’ domination of the market has slipped slightly over the past five months, falling from 48 to 43 percent of mobile web use for smartphones.

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