Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system is the runaway market leader in U.S. smartphone share at 43.7 percent, but Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) easily bests its rival in combined smartphone and tablet market share, according to comScore's Digital Omnivores report.
Apple can thank its popular iPad tablet for that. The tablet, which has sold 30 million units since April 2010 and accounted for 97.2 percent of tablet traffic in August, is so popular in the United States that Apple's share of iPhones and iPads combined is 43.1 percent.
That's better than Android's combined 34.1 percent share of smartphones and tablets. iPads also now account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones-46.8 percent to 42.6 percent of all iOS device traffic.
The good news for Android tablet OEMs is that media consumption via tablets will grow and not everyone will buy an iPad. The bad news for Android tablet makers is that there are more than a dozen Android tablet OEMs vying for the sliver of the pie Apple hasn't consumed.
Android tablet developers (and fans) needn't fret. Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is coming Nov. 15 to provide a low-cost, Android-based alternative to the iPad and the less-than-successful Android tablets that exist today. The 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet ranked as the top "Most Wished For" product at the retailer last week, said PunchJump.
Overall, the iOS platform commanded the largest share of Internet traffic based on Web browser-based page views in the United States, accounting for 58.5 percent of non-computer traffic in the U.S. Android was No. 2 at 31.9 percent of non-computer traffic in August.
"With iOS having a significantly higher share of traffic (58.5 percent) compared to its share of devices (43.1 percent), it suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of Internet content," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, who defined "digital omnivores" as people who access the Web daily from desktops, tablets and smartphones.
Donovan also compiled tablet stats and found that nearly half of tablet owners made or completed a purchase on their tablet.
Also, nearly 3 out of 5 tablet owners consume news on their tablets and access their social networks via tablets. That opens up some real opportunities for Web application developers to adapt their wares to fit on a tablet-sized computer screen.
More broadly, the mobile device outlook is great, according to comScore, which found that smartphones and tablets totaled only 7 percent of digital traffic in the United States. Two-thirds of that traffic came from smartphones, with the remaining coming courtesy of tablets.