Net Applications’ latest mobile web usage report contradicts an earlier survey claiming that the Android platform overtook the iPhone in terms of market share, at least in the US. According to their May web metrics released Monday, Google’s Android is indeed rapidly gaining usage share, but the iPhone still maintains quite a lead.
The survey, distilled in the included pie chart, is based on aggregated traffic data obtained from partner websites representing a total of 160 million visitors a month, the slice they claim is a representative sample of the web at large. However, note that these figures only indicate active smartphone platform use across those partner sites rather than the actual number of devices sold. According to Net Applications:
Both have been overshadowed,by Java ME – found mostly on low-end and older smartphones – which remains the leading mobile browsing platform with a 40.04 percent usage share.
The Symbian platform, found on most Nokia smartphones, was ahead of Android and behind the iPhone with a 13.98 percent usage share. BlackBerry and Windows Mobile came in fifth and sixth with a 3.59 percent and 2.97 percent usage share, respectively
The iPhone actually gained more global share than Android in May, going from 30.3 percent to 32.8 percent. In the same timeframe, Android went from 5.3 percent to 6.2 percent. Java ME (which stands for micro-edition) still maintains the number spot as the most popular platform for mobile browsing. This platform is in use on a large variety of devices and is rapidly losing share to both Android and the iPhone.
The survey revealed that the iPhone gained more market share in May than Android, although Google’s mobile operating system grew at a faster pace. More precisely, Android increased its May usage share over the previous month by 17 percent versus an 8.25 percent increase for the iPhone. This shouldn’t surprise you because a tinier user base like Android grows faster in percentage terms than a nearly 100 million-strong installed base of iPhone OS devices