The Adobe Dig­i­tal Index released its 2013 State of Mobile Bench­mark Report today, which ana­lyzes 150 bil­lion vis­its to 1,500+ web­sites to pro­vide an overview of how con­sumers are using mobile devices world­wide. In addi­tion to trends in social media, video con­tent con­sump­tion and ecom­merce from the past 12 months, the State of Mobile Bench­mark fea­tures key find­ings on which mobile oper­at­ing sys­tems and device man­u­fac­tur­ers are help­ing drive the most web traf­fic globally.

Sam­sung sees the most growth amongst smart­phone manufacturers

Euro­peans pre­fer Sam­sung devices more and more. Across the 19 Euro­pean coun­tries* we ana­lyzed, nearly 30% of all smart­phone brows­ing now occurs via a Sam­sung device—up 9 per­cent­age points in the last year alone. How­ever, con­sumers aren’t trad­ing in their iPhones. Apple now dri­ves nearly 48% of smart­phone brows­ing (+4% YoY) in Europe.


HTC is the third largest smart­phone man­u­fac­turer in most Euro­pean coun­tries, but after that it’s anybody’s game. In fourth place Ger­mans pre­fer Sony Eric­s­son, the French like Motorola, and con­sumers in the UK like to use their Black­ber­ries to surf the web.

iOS & Android account for more than 90% of smart­phone browsing

Both iOS and Android made gains as the smart­phone oper­at­ing sys­tem mar­ket con­tin­ued to consolidate—adding 4% and 1% respec­tively to their share of browsing.

Euro­peans show slight dif­fer­ences in their pref­er­ence for Android vs iPhone. The UK and France are sim­i­lar to the US in their pref­er­ence for iPhones (see trends for US smart­phone oper­at­ing sys­tems), while Ger­mans choose to browse via Android phones more often.


Win­dows Phone, even after becom­ing the pri­mary plat­form for all Nokia devices, has seen lit­tle usage growth. Its share of web brows­ing increased only half a per­cent to about 2% of all smart­phone vis­its across Europe over the last year.

iPad (iOS) con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate global tablet usage

Tablet brows­ing con­tin­ues to grow at a faster rate than smart­phones (tablets sur­pass smart­phones) as they replace PCs for con­sumer com­put­ing. When it comes to tablet oper­at­ing sys­tems, regard­less of coun­try, con­sumers over­whelm­ingly pre­fer iOS to browse the web.  This is despite the recent pro­lif­er­a­tion of tablet devices and the num­ber of less expen­sive tablets that are now avail­able to consumers.


Why this mat­ters to marketers

When we set out to ana­lyze smart­phone and tablet usage pat­terns by oper­at­ing sys­tem we hoped to see which new oper­at­ing sys­tems were gain­ing a strong foothold to help mar­keters know when to adjust their mar­ket­ing tac­tics to account for them. We learned that in the case of both smart­phones and tablets, it is very dif­fi­cult for new oper­at­ing sys­tems to make inroads. Con­sumers have grown accus­tomed to both iOS and Android and switch­ing costs are very high because both oper­at­ing sys­tems have well-developed app mar­kets. Sim­i­lar to the PC oper­at­ing sys­tem mar­ket­place of the ‘90s, the mobile oper­at­ing sys­tem mar­ket today is clearly a two-horse race. Mar­keters with lim­ited resources can con­fi­dently focus their efforts on opti­miz­ing for both iOS and Android so as not to ignore the vast major­ity of mobile consumers.


Do you expect both Sam­sung and Apple to con­tinue to grow this year or will one start to steal share from the other? Share your thoughts with me @tyrwhite and I’ll push out any addi­tional insights we uncover.

*Euro­pean coun­tries include: Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Czech Repub­lic, Den­mark, Fin­land, France, Ger­many, Ice­land, Ire­land, Italy, Nether­lands, Nor­way, Poland, Por­tu­gal, Rus­sia, Spain, Swe­den, Switzer­land, United Kingdom

Read the full State of Mobile Bench­mark report.

Fol­low the Dig­i­tal Index blog or read the rest of our reports.