Mobile Web? iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, mostly.

Written by John Keith on

Here are a few interesting tidbits from some mobile websites we’re monitoring. The following stats are from the two month period inclusive of December, 2010 and January, 2011. The sites are U.S. centric and tend to draw from a younger (18-35 year old) demographic.  You can make what you will of this data, I just thought it was interesting to look some actual numbers from working sites.

The data set contains 5,408 unique user agent strings submitted to the mobile sites during the sample period.  These UAs are mostly minor variations on a few major device categories, so we’re thankful that the WURFL API collapses similar UAs into the same base device for us.  There are also a fair number of weird UAs, as you’ll find whenever you traipse through server logs.

For the approximately 6 million site accesses over this period, 96% of all traffic arrives via iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry.  And of those, iPhone dominates site usage with a whopping 63% of all traffic.  While 4% of the traffic falls into the “Other” category, that does translate to about 240,000 site accesses from those other guys, so it seems reasonable to care about their experience too.  Okay, some of those are bots, so maybe we don’t worry too much about those.

Mobile Stats

The iPhone traffic is pretty much split between OS 4.x (78%) and OS 3.x (21%), with a tiny smattering of other stuff mixed in.  Virtually all Android traffic is coming from Android 2.x devices, though for this purpose I didn’t bother to break it down further than that.   BlackBerry traffic is interesting because, while BlackBerry 5.x represents 68% of the traffic, the “older” BlackBerry 4.x devices still represent 16% of all BlackBerry traffic we’re seeing.  I put that “older” in quotes because, c’mon, they’re not that old — and we know from experience that some people really love those devices (or are too afraid to let them go).  The BlackBerry 6.x devices are also about 16% of all BlackBerry traffic for these sites, which means that 84% of BlackBerry traffic… isn’t.

So, that’s all for now.  I don’t have any stunning revelations, but thought someone, somewhere may be wondering about mobile traffic breakdown for some project they’re working on, and perhaps this will help.

John Keith

John Keith was once a computer scientist, but he got bitten by the startup bug and left all that to learn how to start and run businesses like Kavi, Lucid Meetings, and Cloud Four.

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As a lover of webkit, it’s discouraging to see blackberry 4 and 5 holding so much of the blackberry market. Hoping that changes dramatically in 2011…

The Blackberry Torch has a WebKit browser so it will just get better.

A few questions to have a better understanding of the data.

You said US-centric, what is the proportion of people accessing from other countries and in this tiny(?) fraction what are the distribution of stats? Market shares are very different depending on the countries.

For the mobile sites data you gathered, did you check if some platforms were excluded by user agent sniffing. It is happening often that stats have a bias because it is just impossible to access the site from some devices and… then indeed you do not detect them. 🙂

You gave the stats of OSes? What is the distribution of devices? What is the distributions of user agents?

For these mobile sites, what is the stats for people accessing the non-mobile sites counterpart with a mobile user agent. Another parameter for bias when some user agent sniffing on the server side redirect some browser directly to the mobile site and not the others. The traffic is becoming shaped by the sniffing itself.

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