In North America 70 percent of smartphone-based web traffic is operating on slower-than-4G wireless networks. Conversely only 30 percent of smartphone web traffic is coming from 4G networks, according to Chitika.
This modest penetration figure makes sense because 4G networks are still rolling out and not all handsets are 4G compatible. For example only the iPhone 5 works with 4G. The 4 and 4S are restricted to 3G. However there are dozens of 4G-enabled Android handsets on the market.
These data and findings are based on “tens of millions of smartphone-based online ad impressions recorded on the Chitika ad network from June 1 to June 13, 2013.”
Source: Chitika (6/13)
Chitika adds that devices sold since July of 2012 account for more than half (53 percent) of all 4G traffic in North America, despite 4G handsets being out in market for more than two years.
As might be expected, the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy devices (S3 & S4) combined for almost 75 percent of 4G traffic. According to Chitika their relative shares (of 4G smartphone traffic) break down as follows:
- iPhone 5: 40 percent
- Samsung: 34.3 percent (of that the Galaxy S3 generates the great majority, which casts some doubt on the S4′s US penetration)
What can be inferred is that Android has the majority (60 percent) of 4G traffic overall, although Chitika doesn’t break it out by operating system.
For comparison, below are StatCounter data showing the share of smartphone-based web traffic driven by the each of the competing mobile operating systems:
- iOS: 54 percent
- Android: 40 percent
- BlackBerry: 2.2 percent
- Windows Phone: 1.2 percent
- Other: 2.6 percent