iOS Web traffic share surpasses Mac OS for first time ever

Following Apple’s blowout December quarter during which it shipped a record 37 million iPhone handsets and 15.4 million iPad tablets, a significant shift has taken place. iOS’s share of U.S. Web traffic as observed during a six-month study conducted by leading ad network Chitika has surpassed Apple’s Mac OS Web traffic share for the first time. Read on for more.

Chitika monitored traffic across its network between mid-August 2011 and early February, and compared the volume from Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to traffic from Mac computers. The study covered hundreds of millions of ad impressions and it used user agent data to determine Web traffic share for each platform. According to Chitika’s data, iOS’s Web traffic share finally topped Mac OS earlier this month.

“The data shows that the web market shares of iOS and OS X have been converging steadily since August,” Chitika’s Gabe Donnini noted in the firm’s report. “iOS has been posting regular gains, and has experienced an overall growth of nearly 50%, whereas OS X has seen its market share decline by 25% since a high point in September. February marks the first point where a reversal in position can be seen in the respective operating systems. iOS passes Mac OS with 8.15% of all web traffic, whereas Mac OS only sees 7.96%.”

The trend observed by Chitika is likely to continue, and the disparity between iOS Web traffic and Mac OS traffic will almost certainly grow. Apple’s MacBook line of notebook computers saw growth recently that outpaced the rest of the PC industry, but the growth in Apple’s PC division pales in comparison to its mobile devices.

The proliferation of iOS devices around the world is expected to continue as Apple releases its iPad 3 early next month and a completely redesigned next-generation iPhone later this year.

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