Apple iOS Devices Overwhelm Android Gadgets by 59%: comScore

Apple's iOS platform whips Google's Android platform in total connected device market penetration, according to a new study from comScore. Heartburn for Android lovers.

Apple iOS devices outnumbered smartphones and tablets based on the Android operating system by 59 percent in the U.S., throwing a bucket of cold water on the notion that Google's platform is beating up on iOS.

The researcher--which has shown Android gobbling smartphone market share from the iPhone and RIM Blackberry for the last several months--took into account demographics and other statistics for users of media devices, such as tablets.

ComScore April 19 found iOS-based iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches combined to reach 37.9 million users, compared with 23.8 million combined Android smartphone and users of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and other Android tablets.

The market-penetration percentage of iOS is 16.2 percent to Android's 10.2 percent, said Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile for comScore.

Specifically, Apple's iPhone installed base slightly exceeded that of iPod Touches, both of which were twice as high as the number of iPads. Of the 37.9 million users of Apple iOS devices, only 4 million accessed the platform via more than one device.

"These data clearly illustrate the Apple ecosystem extends far beyond the iPhone," Donovan wrote. "Though it's frequently assumed that the Apple user base is composed of dedicated Apple 'fanboys,' there's not a tremendous amount of overlapping mobile device access among these users."

Moreover, comScore also learned that iPad owners weren't necessarily iPhone owners, or otherwise devout fanboys explicitly loyal to the Apple device ecosystem.

While 27.3 of iPad owners also owned iPhones, some 17.5 percent of RIM smartphone owners claimed to be iPad owners, while 14.2 percent of iPad users owned Android phones.

The uplifting news about the Apple iOS platform should hearten Apple fans discouraged by the rise of Android, and embolden Apple defenders who frequently point out that Android's growing lead in smartphone statistics fails to account for the entire Apple iOS ecosystem.

Of course, if Android tablets take off as connected media devices in 2011 the way Android smartphones took off in 2010, comScore will be forced to engage in a meaningful adjustment of its statistics.

Given the failure of Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom to garner big sales out of the gate and the relative slowness of other such tablets to market, there is no indication this will happen.

This is a big reason why research firms such as Forrester, Gartner and IDC all see Apple's iPad dominating the tablet market for the next two years.