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Mobile Browsing: Samsung Defeats Apple. Just.

Kris Carlon
3

Statistics released yesterday from StatCounter show that Samsung devices are now the preferred global device on which to browse the web. The Korean technology giant has finally surpassed Apple as the number one device manufacturer for mobile web browsing. But it's hardly time for celebrations yet – Samsung is only in the lead by 0.4%.

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Clash of the Titans. Samsung ousts Apple. Sort of. / © Cult of Mac

Internet Wars

StatCounter released the report on Wednesday, which includes a range of results, including the most popular browser (Chrome), search engine (Google), social media network (Facebook) and mobile operating system (we'll get to that later). Tablets are not included in their rankings, however. You can read the report here.

As of the end of June 2013, Samsung's steady rise in mobile browsing popularity over the last 12 months saw it surpass Apple, who has been trending noticeably downwards, for the first time. While the margin is negligible, the general trend indicates the gap will continue to increase in the coming months. The last time the two mobile behemoths were this close was in the lead-up to Christmas last year, around the same time Nokia took a serious nosedive and ostensibly retired from the race.

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Samsung has seen a steady increase in the last year in mobile web browsing. / © StatCounter

Samsung Dominates Globally

Samsung currently holds the top global spot with 25.5% of the total global mobile web page views, with Apple responsible for 25.1%. Nokia brings in 22% and all other device manufacturers are barely on the map, making up the remaining quarter.

But in the US and the UK, Apple is still the clear frontrunner. In the US, Apple is responsible for 54.8% of American mobile internet traffic, while Samsung represents only 18.3%. In the UK, Apple produces just shy of 48% of UK mobile browsing devices, with Samsung manufacturing only 20.5%. While Samsung has been steadily gaining in popularity in the US, so has Apple, with both major players eating away at the competition.

Mobile browsers
Android increases its lead as the mobile web browser of choice.  / © StatCounter

Mobile Browsers

When it comes to mobile browsers though, the gap is larger and gives away a little more information. Android's nameless browser comes in at number one globally again, with 29.1% of searches, while Apple's Safari browser accounted for 25%.

From this we can surmise Apple users browse almost exclusively with the iPhone's stock browser, hence the percentages lining up so neatly. But Android users seem to be a little more likely to browse on non-stock browsers, like Chrome, which is slowly gaining ground on Android 4.2 devices, or other browsers users install themselves.

But again, in the US and the UK, Apple puts in the big numbers (55% and 48%, respectively), with Safari usage increasing in both countries during the last year. Meanwhile, Android has either slowly dropped off (US) or remained steady, with just a slight decrease (UK).

MobileOSStatistics
Android continues to surge away from Apple globally, but not in the US or UK. / © StatCounter

Mobile OS

And the fun one we all like to argue about: mobile operating system. Globally, Android continues to increase its lead over Apple's iOS. At the end of June, Android powered 38% of mobile devices, up from 26.5% a year ago. Apple largely went nowhere, remaining at roughly 25%. Again, Samsung's increase has been at the cost of its competition, but Apple seems immune.

In the US and UK, we see the same story replayed as in the other categories of the study. In the US, Apple dominates, with almost 55% of devices running iOS, and Android making up just under 40%. In the UK too, Apple takes the number one spot, with 48% of devices, while Android represents 31%. Both countries remain largely steady, with around 4.5% increases for Apple in both over the last year. Meanwhile, Android has remained stable in the US and gained 5% in the UK.

What do you think of these stats? Do you think Android will eventually overtake Apple in the US and UK?

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Comments

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  • Niels Christiansen Jul 11, 2013 Link

    I wouldn't be surprised if Android gets more ahead. Android performance continue to grow as the OS matures, and in these times of credit crunch people are keen to get bang for buck. Smooth talking doesn't cut it alone.

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    Kris Carlon Jul 12, 2013 Link

    Yeah I have to say I expect Android and Samsung to continue to improve their market share. And eventually I expect even the US and the UK will crack under the pressure of Samsung's awesome devices and the joys of Android OS.

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  • jones Jul 21, 2013 Link

    Well here in nigeria we dont have unlimited data plan for android fones like the blackberry users, so we dont enjoy internet on our android fones if only google or samsung will make a global android server like blackberry did, them android can ultimately lead apple and others

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