According to Google, 2/3rd of all the mobile searches on Google originate from an iPad, iPhone or an iPod Touch. This interesting bit of information was shared by a Google executive during a Senate Judiciary hearing.
I find this a bit surprising, considering the lead Android has in the smart phone space. Is it that Android users do not use the internet on their devices? Not too long ago, Apple critics were saying that the explosion of apps on the iPhone would kill web browsing by restricting all web interactions to apps. I always found those criticisms to be without merit, suspecting the critics to be from competing platforms that didn’t have as active a developer network as Apple’s iOS.
What’s also interesting is, Google is not the only search option on iOS devices. It is the default search engine, with Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo’s search engines available as alternatives. Google paid over $100 million dollars to be the sole search engine on the iPhone when it was introduced in 2007. In 2010, Apple added Bing and Yahoo, but kept Google as the default.
With the exception of a small number of Android phones on Verizon, Google is the only search option on Android devices. While there are Microsoft and Yahoo apps in the Android app store, I suspect that most Android users use and prefer Google as their search engine. This is because of the software and hardware integration of Google search in Android. It is Google’s OS after-all. Not only that, Google search is the best search algorithm.
I think the iOS domination of mobile search on Google is because of the iPad. I will use myself as an example. I have both an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2. Unless I do not have my iPad with me, I almost always browse the internet on the iPad. From composing emails, writing a quick note to writing a post for this blog, the iPad is my preferred device. In fact, the only time I don’t go to the iPad is when I have to write a long email, note or post. For those tasks, I use my MacBook Pro.
The only times I use the browser on the iPhone is when I click on a link in an email, look up an address, or phone number to dial. I use my iPhone to make phone calls, take pictures, send text messages and the occasional “thanks, got it” email reply. My data usage on the iPhone is done through apps like Facebook, Pandora, Spotify and Instagram.
Android has a lead in the smart phone market – for now. But with iPad defining and dominating the tablet space, I expect numbers like this to not only become the norm, but I expect iOS’ share of the chart to grow even bigger.