Device Market Share vs. Web Consumption Market Share

We often get asked about developing apps for Apple vs. Android vs. Blackberry.  Many schools want to know where to start.  One of the reasons this is a confusing topic is because smartphone device market share does not resemble smartphone web consumption.

Specifically, North American smartphone device market share is led by Blackberry (RIM) with the iPhone in second place and the Android (Google) in fourth place (but gaining ground quickly).  See below from ComScore:

So this means that we (you) should first build apps for Blackberry and then think about Apple and Google/Android later, right? Not necessarily. Your alumni use their devices very differently.  This is illustrated by the mobile web traffic charts from Quantcast:

This demonstrates that iPhone OS and Android users disproportionately use their phones for mobile internet via apps and via in-phone browsers.  It should be noted that the iPhone OS statistics are bolstered by the iPod Touch as well.  This is probably intuitive based on the way you see your friends using their phones, but we like supporting intuition with data whenever possible.

We expect that Blackberry/RIM devices will become much more app and web friendly in the coming months, primarily because consumers are demanding it.

In the meantime, if your preference is to stage releases in order to test alumni feedback. we believe it makes the most sense to prioritize in order of mobile web traffic: iPhone/iPod first, then Android, followed by Blackberry. What do you think?


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