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Mobile trends in early 2016: Android takes another bite out of Apple

A new report published by DeviceAtlas provides an insight into the Android / iOS duel, the popularity of smartphone screen sizes and more. In the report, Android is revealed to be gaining in its share of web traffic, while iOS is falling off. Smaller phones, between 4 and 5 inches, are also shown to be the most popular, although phablets are making small gains

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Find out what this report reveals about the most popular screen sizes and Android and iOS's share of the traffic. / © ANDROIDPIT

This new report from DeviceAtlas covers Q1 2016 (January - March) and reveals patterns in mobile devices used to access online content. Let's take a look over some of the key findings.

Android takes web traffic from iOS

The report paints a positive picture for Android: "Android maintained its leading position and grew its share in most countries [DeviceAtlas] analysed." Android saw increases in its share of web traffic in eight out of the ten countries looked at. iOS saw the inverse: decreases in seven out of ten countries. This is a very different story to Q2 2015, when the roles were almost perfectly reversed.

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Android maintains overall control, and increases its share in most countries studied. / © DeviceAtlas

Italy saw the most dramatic turnaround: in Q2 2015, Android's web traffic share there fell by 7.39 percent, while in Q1 2016, it rose by 6.59 percent. On the other side of the fence, iOS witnessed a particularly painful fall from grace in Germany, where it grew by 6.47 in Q2 2015, but fell by 5.51 percent in Q1 2016.

Smaller phones dominate

The launch of the iPhone SE earlier this year meant the first compact smartphone capable of competing with top-tier flagships like the Galaxy S7 and Apple's own iPhone 6s. Apple's decision appears to be a good one in light of the data from DeviceAtlas.

4- and 4.7-inch devices are the most popular in six of the ten countries studied, often by a significant margin (in the UK, 4-inch phones account for almost 30 percent of mobile web traffic). 

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Smaller devices remain the most popular. / © DeviceAtlas

5.7-inches proved the least popular size in all ten countries. Despite this, 5.7-inch phablets made gains in their share of web traffic but by small degrees (one percent growth or less), while 4-inch devices fell in all but one country (Nigeria) by as much as 4.83 percent (Germany). 

Apple and Samsung

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the global market:

"In Q1 2016 Samsung had the largest web traffic share in India, Nigeria, Germany, Italy and Spain, while Apple devices generated the largest amount of website visits in France, UK, Australia, Japan and USA."

One bot accounted for almost a third of all web traffic

A curious finding: bots and crawlers, which can either be neutral (for search engines, market research, etc.) or more malicious in nature (spambots, data scrapers, etc.) accounted for almost 49 percent of all web traffic, with the other half being us, humans. Even more curious is that the most widespread bot was Majestic-12, beating both Google and Bing by huge margins: Majestic-12 accounted for 68.53 percent of the bot web traffic (Google and Bing sat at around 20 and 4 percent, respectively).

The Majestic-12 bot, therefore, accounted for around one third of all web traffic. A pretty mind-blowing statistic.

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Humans are fighting for their share of web traffic with robots. / © DeviceAtlas

Although it may be surprising to hear that humans only account for half of all web traffic, the figure "is in line with industry averages for bot generated traffic", according to DeviceAtlas.

Older and non-LTE phone remain significant

While LTE devices achieved 97 percent of the mobile web traffic in South Korea, "web traffic generated by non-LTE phones is still significant in many countries, including India (45%), Nigeria (39%), Italy (36%), Spain (29%), and Germany (20%)."

Find out more and take a look over the report in more detail here.

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