Mobile Market Share Not Equivalent to Usage Share

While some people online stop at overall market share when comparing products, I am more concerned with their usage in the real world. I decided to look at sales numbers for Android and iOS devices in correlation with both their online market share and Black Friday sales numbers to see how they stacked up. What I found was rather interesting.

Device Sales (%)

Platform Global 1 2 US 3 4 5
Android 71.7 52.2
iOS 19.6 35.8
Margin 52.1 16.4

If we were to look solely at sales numbers, it becomes apparent that Android not only beats iOS in both US and global markets, but manages to own over half of the total device sales in both categories. Although Android’s US margin is less than half (36.9%) of its global margin, it is still obvious that Android is clearly in the lead.

Online Market Share (%)

Platform Global 6 US 7
Android 21.0 28.6
iOS 65.1 67.1
Margin 44.1 38.5

Online market share paints a different picture. While Android definitely leads in sales, iOS has no problems owning online market share for both global and US users. Correlating these numbers with the device sales figures above, we see that iOS users are 11.3x more likely than an Android user to access the internet on their devices globally, and 3.4x more likely in the US.

Black Friday Sales (%)

Platform US 8
Android 5.5
iOS 18.7
Margin 13.2

Black Friday sales also paint an interesting picture, where purchases made via an iOS device were 3.4x those from an Android device. Correlating these one-day sales numbers with the US device sales figures above, we see that iOS users were 5x more likely than Android users to make a purchase on Black Friday via their devices.


Although Android devices are clearly beating out iOS devices from an overall sales-figure perspective, it is apparent that iOS users are considerably more likely to use their devices to access the internet and purchase items.

Statistic iOS Strength
Online Market Share - Global 11.3x
Online Market Share - US 3.4x
Black Friday Sales 5x

What I can deduce from these numbers:

  1. Focusing solely on overall sales figures is narrow-sighted and ignores real-world usage
  2. iOS users—as a whole—are more likely to utilize the internet-capabilities of their devices when compared to Android users
  3. If you are targeting mobile users, make sure it works on an iOS device

Update: The original Device Sales figures only included phones. I have updated my figures to now include tablets.