The Curious Gap Between Android Market Share and Usage

on November 26, 2012

There’s been plenty of debate in these pages and their comments about who is winning and who is losing in the battles between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Asymco’s Harace Dediu takes a close look at Thanksgiving weekend data from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark and reaches a surprising conclusion: Despite the sharp growth in Android market share, the iPhone and, especially, iPad share of online shopping activity is actually growing.

Dediu’s full analysis is well worth reading. But in the end, he is as mystified as everyone else by the phenomenon he calls the “Android engagement paradox”:

I’m not satisfied with the explanation that Android users are demographically different because the Android user pool is now so vast and because the most popular devices are not exactly cheap. There is something else at play. It might be explained by design considerations or by user experience flaws or integration but something is different.