Corporate Eye

Android and iOS Users Display Different Mobile Behaviors

iphone apple iosWhich mobile operating system is driving the most internet traffic? That’s an important statistic for marketers, but most don’t know the answer. In fact, the result might surprise you.

Despite higher market share for Google’s Android mobile devices, the Apple operating system, iOS, drives more internet traffic according to the new “State of Mobile Benchmark” study by Adobe.

In the United Kingdom, Germany, China, the United States, France, and Japan, iOS internet traffic from tablet devices beats Android by a significant margin in February 2013. The numbers are closer for smartphones with iOS beating out Android in three of the six countries researched — the U.K., Germany, and China.

In all six countries studied, other mobile operating systems weren’t even close to generating the kinds of internet traffic that iOS and Android do. As you can see below, the gap is largest among U.K. mobile consumers who are also driving the largest percentages of internet traffic from tablets and smartphones.

Tablet Internet Traffic

  • United Kingdom: iOS = 84.2%, Android = 13.8%
  • Germany: iOS = 81.8%, Android = 17.5%
  • China: iOS = 81.6%, Android = 17.3%
  • United States: iOS = 77.8%, Android = 20.5%
  • France: iOS = 77.4%, Android = 22.0%
  • Japan: iOS = 77.2%, Android = 22.4%

Smartphone Internet Traffic (February 2013)

  • United Kingdom: iOS = 53.5%, Android = 37.2%
  • Germany: iOS = 51.0%, Android = 41.2%
  • China: iOS = 49.5%, Android = 45.5%
  • United States: iOS = 44.9%, Android = 48.9%
  • France: iOS = 36.3%, Android = 60.9%
  • Japan: iOS = 32.0%, Android = 49.6%

The important takeaway for brand marketers based on this data is simple. Mobile behaviors, including internet usage, vary based on the mobile operating system. Emarketer predicts that Android will continue to lead the smartphone market and will successfully steal significant market share from Apple over the next five years. As a result, internet traffic from Android smartphones and tablets will go up, too. However, there are inherent differences in mobile engagement between users of the competing operating systems. Brands must consider these differences to maximize mobile marketing return on investment.

In simplest terms, not all mobile consumers are alike. They use their devices differently and they choose devices and operating systems that fit their needs and lifestyles. This data is just one more piece of the brand marketing puzzle.

Is your company targeting consumers with messaging and offers based on the mobile operating system they use? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Gonzalo Baeza

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.