Those spunky Android tablets may have made big gains on Apple’s flagship slate in recent months in terms of sales, but competitors still have a long way to go when it comes to actual usage. So says Chitika Insights, an ad and analytics firm that claims the iPad still accounts for a full 87 percent of all tablet web traffic.
As you can see in the chart, the Kindle Fire family is far and away the second most popular tablet on Chitika’s ad network, and it generates more than 20 times less traffic than the iPad, accounting for just 4.88 percent of all impressions. The vaunted Google Nexus tablets? Just 1.22 percent.
Early reports peg Microsoft’s Surface tablet as the most-used Windows 8/RT device, but it only accounts for 0.22 percent of all tablet traffic by Chitika’s count—just 0.04 points ahead of the defunct HP TouchPad’s share. No wonder Microsoft has broadened the Surface’s distribution.
Android tablets, on the other hand, have been on a hot streak of late. Google-powered tablets managed to knock the iPad’s market share down to “just” 50.4 percent in the third quarter, which was the Apple tablet’s smallest chunk since its launch.
One strong quarter is just the start of an uphill battle for Android, however. As Chitika’s numbers show, years of utter dominance by the iPad have given it a substantial lead when it comes to actual usage. It will be interesting to see if the release of the iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad chew into Android’s gains when the fourth-quarter sales numbers are released.