Android leads market share and data use


More than a third of smartphones are running Google's Android mobile operating system, according to a recent survey.

The study by Nielsen showed 36 per cent of smartphones were Android devices, compared to 26 per cent for Apple's iOS and 23 per cent for RIM's BlackBerry OS.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 limped along at the back with a mere one per cent.

Focusing on the Android-Apple contest, the survey revealed both sets of users displayed the most intensive data usage on their smartphones, with both groups frequently downloading a lot of content - including apps, streaming music, radio, video and TV.

However, the results showed whilst iPhone customers used their phones more for these types of data and media consumption, it was Android users who ended up downloading more data on an average per megabyte basis.

The report, examining 65,000 phone bills in the first quarter of 2011, revealed Android users downloaded 582MB of data per month on average, against 492 MB for iPhone users.

Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, suggested to IT PRO the difference between activity frequency and actual data transferred could be due to Google's more open development nature of Android.

"Openness [of Android] is probably a big reason leading to more tethering to laptops, tablets and so on, and the open app approach leading to anybody creating what they like, even with sloppy code meaning less efficiency in the apps and more 'chattiness,'" he said.

Bamforth also raised the question of an analysis of demographics within the survey, suggesting there was a possibility of Android users on average being "younger and less well off."

He also claimed a greater number of Apple users could be professional, in contrast to the abundance of more traditional consumers on Android.