Android tops iOS in online usage for the first time, says one tracker

Analytics firm says Android has moved ahead of Apple.

A web metrics firm has announced that Android devices accounted for more mobile web traffic than iOS in July, the first time that’s happened since NetMarketShare began tracking such statistics.

NetMarketShare uses data from its analytics clients to track which operating systems and browsers are being used to access the websites it serves. Android and iOS, between them, account for the vast majority of mobile web traffic, a total of nearly 89%. Of that, Android’s share for the month of July was 44.62%, while iOS accounted for 44.19%.

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It’s the culmination of a lengthy period of Android sales dominance over Apple’s products – Google’s platform has been outselling iOS for years. Android devices made up more than 78% of all smartphones sold at retail in 2013, according to statistics from Gartner Research.

But until the latest report, the iPhone continued to account for more web traffic than Android phones. As recently as September 2013, Android’s usage share was 29%, compared to iOS’ 54%. While the two figures were always trending toward each other, Android’s gains accelerated this spring, climbing from a roughly 38% share in April to more than 41% in May.

In a distant third place for July was Java ME – used in non-smartphones – at 4.19%, followed by Symbian at 2.57%, Windows Phone at 2.49% and BlackBerry at 1.21%, according to NetMarketShare’s numbers. The most-used mobile web browser, however, is still Safari, thanks to the Android market being split between the stock Android Browser and Chrome. On the desktop, the research found Microsoft Internet Explorer still on top with 58% market share, trailed by Chrome at 20.37% and Firefox at 15.08%.

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