Data Monday: The Android Engagement Mystery

by December 3, 2012

Google's Android operating system runs on 75% of the smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012. Apple's iOS is second with 15% marketshare. So Android should be dominating smartphone use across the board right? Well, no. Welcome to the Android engagement mystery.


  • Android went from 1.43% of Black Friday shopping traffic in 2010 to 4.92% in 2012. In same time iOS went from 3.85% to 18.46%. (source)
  • Apple's iOS contributed to 18.7% of online shopping and Android contributed just 5.5%. (source)
  • iPhone users are about three times more engaged in shopping with their devices than Android users. Two years ago the ratio was two to one. (source)
  • The pattern is pretty clear with respect to Android: engagement is down as ownership is up. (source)

Web Browsing

  • On non-cellular networks, Mobile Safari accounts for 67% of mobile browser activity. Android WebKit’s share is 18%. (source)
  • 52% of tablet owners in the US say they own an iPad, 48% say they own an Android device. (source)
  • But the iPad accounts for over 90% of all tablet web traffic. (source)

Digital Magazines

  • Of all the downloads of Adobe digital magazines, a total of 3% were on Android. The remaining 97% came from iOS. (source)

What's responsible for lower Android engagement across the board? Is the market situation in China partly to blame? Or something else?