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The 'iPad effect' on browser share numbers


InfoWorld has noted an 'iPad effect' on browser share among mobile devices. Broadly speaking, InfoWorld reports that mobile devices now appears to account for approximately seven percent of all browsing, up from three percent in 2010. If accurate, that's a pretty remarkable stat by itself, but more remarkable is where that increase in mobile browsing is coming from.

Although Android phones are reportedly outselling the iPhone by two to one, the browser share numbers aren't reflecting that in the slightest. Since September 2010, Android's browser share has doubled from 8 percent to 16 percent, but over the same period Mobile Safari has gone from 42 percent to 56 percent. Either iPhone users are doing way more browsing on their devices than Android users, or else InfoWorld's analysis is correct: the "iPad effect" is skewing the numbers on browser share upward by a wide margin.

This outcome seems obvious from my perspective; browsing the Web on my iPad is definitely a superior experience compared to browsing on my iPhone, and in many cases I even prefer it to using Safari on my Mac. And given that Android-based tablets haven't exactly caught fire in the market yet, the iPad's likely running away with the overwhelming majority of "tablet-based" browser share.

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