‘Mobile’ iOS and the iPad

Our recent piece on mobile OS market share in North America garnered quite a bit of attention. One question that we’ve been asked repeatedly is ‘why don’t you include iPad usage in the analysis, after all its also using iOS?’

Well, it’s a fair question. Earlier this year we produced a report on mobile trends in 2009, in that report we speculated that the distinction between mobile and desktop and ‘other’ would wane over the next 3 years. Well, it feels like that’s happening sooner – sure the iPad is used out of home, but (for this author at least) 90% of its web browsing is done from the couch.

This will only become more complex, iOS will likely find its way into more devices, Android is already moving onto non smartphone devices (though the volume today has virtually no impact on our analysis). Its something we’ll keep an eye on.

But, for the purposes of our reporting on ‘mobile’ (which we might more accurately refer to as ‘smartphone’), we’ve decided that the iPad is not strictly speaking a mobile device and won’t be included in these reports.

We’re completely open to suggestions on this, perhaps we need a qualification mechanism for a smartphone based on dimensions?

Anyway, to answer the question many have been asking – here’s a view of iOS, including the iPad, Vs. RIM OS, Android and other ‘mobile’ operating systems. Note that this chart shows the web consumption share as a percentage of all web consumption, not just mobile web consumption. The iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) are shown stacked, the others as individual lines.

iOS Android RIM Share of Web Consumption North America

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