Are 70% of smartphone users in Europe really on Android?

Haymarket's smartphone infographic - smartphone OS in Europe

Haymarket published some interesting smartphone stats over on their blog last week. I don’t spend a lot of time hanging out on the corporate blogs of my company’s competitors but I will admit this one caught my eye.

Are nearly 70% of smartphone users in Europe really using Android devices?

I’m an iPhone girl, which is to say I love my phone and have done since Apple got their claws in me way back with an iPod Touch, leading to me buying music, games and work apps and not wanting to waste money buying everything again if I moved away from IOS. I have an iPad Mini that pretty much lives in my handbag. I do not own a Mac. I work on a PC and I can use a Mac but I have always thought that Apple overcharge for their laptop and desktop computers and that I can get a PC version with just as much memory and capability (and prettiness) without paying a Mac price.

So I guess I’m a mobile-loyal customer, choosing iPhones and iPads but not willing to move to a purely Apple based life.

Most of my friends have iPhones. Some also have iPads and Macbooks but most have iPhones.

But when I said “70%? Really?” out loud in the office, I was immediately greeted by the four person Dev team I sit with holding up their Samsung S3s, Note 2s and S4s. Only the digital director and myself had iPhones.

4 : 2 / Android : Apple

Now these are tech savvy people. I am a tech savvy person, but I likes me some iPhone.

And I refuse to believe that 70% of Europe is peopled by tech savvy developers.

If I was to look at the Mobile based traffic for some of my most heavily visited sites, the last three months of data from Google Analytics breaks down like this:

Mobile optimised news site – traffic type:

Chart - type of traffic, optimised news site, 3 months

Non-Mobile optimised news site – traffic type:

Chart - news site, traffic breakdown, non-optimised

Well first off this tells me I really need to step up the timings on the Get Everything Optimised For Mobile plan. Note to self – get done.

But here’s where it gets interesting for me, because if 70% of Smartphone users are on Android – where are they?

All mobile/tablet traffic by OS – optimised news site:

Optimised news site - 3 months traffic - by mobile OS

All mobile/tablet traffic by OS – non-optimised news site:

Non-optimised news site - 3 months traffic - by mobile OS

 

Okay, now, admittedly, that is *all* mobile and tablet traffic – not just smart phones. But on my sites tablet access is less than 2/3rds of mobile.  I could re-run this as a custom report in Google Analytics specifying smartphones only but I’m not going to because life is too short.

Because here is my point. 70% of smartphone users in all of Europe might be on Android phones, but over half of all traffic to my sites via a mobile device comes from one that runs on iOS.

Maybe it’s that my site users are older, or that my site users are mostly ABC1s, or that my site users may be using mobile devices purchased by their employers.

Or that my site users all got iPads for Xmas.

Because an iPad is, far and away, the most used mobile device to access my sites (32% of mobile visits on the optimised site happen on an iPad, 29% from the non-optimised site).

And so my point it this:

Big sweeping Europe-wide statements are all well and good, but it’s worth far more to know what your specific audience actually uses.

I would not be surprised to see the percentage of people accessing my professional news websites on an Android device increase over the next few years. But if you ask me what device I’m gonna push to build an app for first, it will always be an Apple iPad.

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