Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, continues to blow away Google’s Android in mobile commerce, according to IBM analytics.
IBM put out a press release about what it saw during Christmas. It’s not good for Android:
iOS vs. Android: As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than five times higher than Android, driving 23 per cent vs. 4.6 per cent for Android. On average, iOS users spent $US93.94 per order, nearly twice that of Android users, who spent $US48.10 per order. iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 32.6 per cent vs. 14.8 per cent for Android.
Over and over we hear about Apple getting creamed by Android in marketshare, and yet, IBM’s data says that iOS is a clear cut winner when it comes to mobile traffic and shopping.
The caveat here is that this U.S. only data. But, in the U.S. iOS reportedly has a minority share of the smartphone market. Android is supposedly the biggest operating system.
So, the question is: What do people do with Android phones? Why don’t they use them for shopping, or surfing the web?
If this trend is true internationally as well as domestically, then Apple’s iPhone business is in even better shape than people think.
The only reason people think Apple is in trouble is because its share of the smartphone market is small. The debate around iOS and Android market share matters because historically, developers have gravitated to one platform and prioritised their efforts for that platform. The platform that typically wins has the most users.
As a result, the growth of Android would suggest developers are going to make the best apps for Android and thus relegate iOS to a second tier platform.
But, if the market share numbers are hollow — that is, if no one is using Android, despite big market share — then it doesn’t matter. Developers will develop for people that actually use the devices, and people that actually spend money on those devices.
There’s three ways for developers to make money: Selling apps, in-app payments, or advertising. People that don’t use apps, or don’t buy stuff through the device aren’t good targets for developers.
The IBM data isn’t all that new. It said the same thing at Thanksgiving.
What’s interesting is that if the IBM data was wildly wrong, Google would have probably contested it. We haven’t seen any evidence from Google, or developers, that these numbers are out of whack.
Maybe it’s time to admit that Apple is doing the exact right thing with its iPhone business.