During his keynote speech for the release of the iPhone 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook poked fun of competitors in the tablet space with a few pie charts. While the iPad's market share in the tablet space has reportedly slipped to about 65 percent, Cook noted that iPads still make up 91 percent of web traffic from tablets. "I don't know what these other tables are doing. They must be in warehouses or on store shelves, or maybe in someone's drawer."
Onswipe, a New York startup which helps publishers optimize their sites for touch enabled devices, has just released some new data, and it turns out Apple's lead could be even bigger than Cook boasted. The measurements are taken from 8.5 million unique visitors across the more than one hundred publishers that use Onswipe to power their mobile sites. The stats, updated as of this week, show that 98 percent of tablet traffic on the web comes from iPads, a larger lead than Onswipe was seeing just six months ago.
"When it comes to browsing the web from a tablet, Apple is still the only game in town."
"Amazon never released the actual number of devices sold, so we'll have to take their word for it that Kindle Fire has moved a lot of units," says Jason Baptiste, Onswipe's founder and CEO. He praised the web surfing experience on Google's Nexus tablet, but noted that, "From our perspective, however, the data is pretty clear: when it comes to browsing the web from a tablet, Apple is still the only game in town."
Kindle Fire users are spending 79 percent more time per visit than iPad users
One interesting caveat to the dominance of iOS is that Kindle Fire users who do surf the web are far more engaged than users on Apple devices. "I think its a reflection of how people use a Kindle. They read books, they watch movies, they are carving out a few hours to lean back with the device," says Baptiste. On average Onswipe' data showed Kindle Fire users are spending 79 percent more time per visit than iPad users and generating 138 percent more pageviews per visit, although this latter stat may be a reflection of the Kindle Fire's smaller size.
"You could imagine it might be part of Amazon's strategy to create a device which favors consuming content over surfing the web," says Baptiste. Jeff Bezos talked at length about the Silk Browser when Amazon's tablet was first released, and the tech press salivated at its possibilities for leveraging Amazon's cloud infrastructure. During the more recent Kindle Fire event, Silk was barely mentioned at all. Instead Bezos emphasized that the Kindle Fire was not a gadget at all, but a set of paid media services which get better with time. Based on this data, it seems like his users agree.