Apple browsing share tops Linux, Android steals share

Apple scores a first: More people browsed the Net last month with its mobile operating system than used Linux to do so.

More people browsed the Internet last month with a device running Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, than used Linux to do so. That's a first for Apple, according to NetMarketShare, a firm that produces metrics on the market share of browsers, operating systems and search engines.

However, the market figures do represent a new way that NetMarketshare has adopted to calculate market share for Apple. "In order to more accurately describe usage share for Apple devices, the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are now being grouped under their common operating system iOS," the firm explained.

"When these devices are combined, they have over one percent of global browsing share, which is now higher than Linux," it said.

Information at the research firm's website shows iOS steadily gaining browser market share since October 2009, when its share was 0.44 percent, to last month, when its share was 1.13 percent. Linux's share, on the other hand, reached its lowest point over the same period, 0.85 percent.

Although devices running Google's operating system, Android, remain well behind iOS with a 0.20 percent share, they continue to show impressive growth in mobile web consumption. "Android continues to put in a powerful performance as measured by the share of mobile web consumption attributable to devices running Google's operating system," reports Quantcast, which analyzes online audiences for marketers.

"In August," it added, "Android took share from every corner of the market, putting in its best month share gain since November 2009."

Since May 2009, information at the company's website shows iOS's share of mobile web consumption, which is now 56 percent, trending down, while Android's share, now at 25 percent, continues to rise.

With sales of Android phones surpassing the iPhone and tablet computers using the OS beginning to enter the market, Google's market will no doubt continue to rise. While there may be some satisfaction in leaping over Linux in global browsing market share, Apple should heed Satchel Paige's memorable warning: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

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John P. Mello Jr.

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