April 4, 2010 | by Ed Clark
As Androinica’s Christopher Smith pointed out yesterday, things are really looking up for Android lately. Not only has Android essentially caught up with iPhone in the widely watched AdMob OS market share statistics, but Android has just become the hottest smartphone platform in a recent consumer demand survey conducted by Changewave.
I am most interested in the AdMob statistic because consumer demand can change from week to week, while consumer habits are much more predictable after extended periods of observation. The results? Android users surf the web a lot. More than any other platform on a per user basis. Consider this: in the most recent sales data provided by comScore, Android’s share grew by an amazing 153.6 percent (far more than any other platform), but still has less than 1/3 of the iPhone’s total sales share. So for Android to match iPhone in AdMob’s market share rating is incredible. By my rough guesstimate, each Android user spends 360% more time surfing the internet (and therefore seeing AdMob ads) than each iPhone user. The other contenders–RIM, Palm, and WinMo–have rates that are too low to even bother compiling the data.
What can we conclude from this data? One could speculate that the difference may be related to the carriers involved. Perhaps AT&T and Blackberry plans discourage browsing, at least in comparison to Android device plans. I wouldn’t know, but I’m sure others have done the plan comparisons. iPhone folks will undoubtably say that iPhone apps are in general much better than Android apps, so iPhone users have more to do with their phones than surf the web. Maybe. But the most interesting take for me is that this outcome is exactly what Google wanted from the Android platform. Here is a quote from a recent New York Times article about Google’s intentions in regard to Android:
“Google, on the other hand, wants smartphones to have open, nonproprietary platforms so users can freely roam the Web for apps that work on many devices. Google has long feared that rivals like Microsoft or Apple or wireless carriers like Verizon could block access to its services on devices like smartphones, which could soon eclipse computers as the primary gateway to the Web. Google’s promotion of Android is, essentially, an effort to control its destiny in the mobile world.”
As the owner of a Nexus One, I can say that my phone has replaced my laptop for most of my web browsing. The combination of the News/Weather widget and my constantly updated RSS feeds through FeedR meet most of my web browsing needs on a daily basis. This, it seems, is what our friends at Google were hoping for. Add in the long-promised Flash capabilities for Android, and look for these statistics to jump up even higher.