Tablets are continuing their rise as the preferred screen for consuming mobile data, according to the latest figures from mobile advertising network Jumptap. The company, which produces a monthly report of what platforms are performing the strongest based on its ad network covering 134 million mobile users in the U.S. and 206 million mobile users worldwide, says that by the end of 2012, tablets accounted for 18% of all traffic on its network, compared to 78% for smartphones and 4% for feature phones. But given usage trends over the past few months, it believes that by the end of 2013, the percentage for tablets will grow to just under one-third of all traffic (29%), while smartphones will decline to 70%.
The figures seem to indicate that although the market for tablets is still small compared to that of smartphones they are showing disproportionate usage. Crunching some numbers from IDC and Gartner, it looks like tablets will make up only about 10% of overall sales of smart devices this year. Yet Jumptap’s figures of 29% seem to indicate that those bigger screens are translating to more usage.
Jumptap also used some of its recent usage to forecast how Android, Apple’s iOS and other platforms would perform in the year ahead. As we and the analysts have noted before, we are continuing to see a two-horse race here (or two horses and two ponies, to be exact). But the growth in market share appears to have now reached a peak. Android, as it has for the past two years, will continue to remain in the lead as the most popular platform, with Apple close behind, but gains are now minor compared to years before.
Again, as with tablets versus smartphones, it’s interesting to note that Android appears to be significantly ahead of Apple in terms of smartphone sales, with its share only growing bigger (Gartner, for example, noted that at the end of 2012 its share was nearly 70% compared to 20% for iOS; in 2011 the proportions were 50% Android to 20% iOS). But when it comes to usage, the two platforms remain more level, with only an 8% margin between them.
Finally, Jumptap has broken out what handsets are winning out among the many Android players out there. And while other usage figures seem to run counter to market shares, in this case, the stars appear to align. Samsung, as the world’s biggest Android device maker at the moment, is also pulling in the most traffic across mobile web and app usage.
Jumptap notes that Samsung, at the end of 2012, was already accounting for 56% of all Android traffic on its network, and that figure will go past 60% this year. “Advertisers focusing on the Android market should assume that more than 50% of their ads will appear on Samsung smartphones, unless they specifically target other devices,” Jumptap writes in its report.