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Study: iPhone, iPad continue to dominate online mobile shopping
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MacNN Staff
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Jul 14, 2014, 10:02 PM
Mobile devices are increasingly supplanting traditional desktop or notebook PCs as devices for online shopping, a new study finds, and iOS devices continue to be dominant in yet another real-world usage study despite claims of higher Android-based marketshare, at least in the US. Mobile sales analysis firm Custora looked at $10 billion in mobile transaction revenue covering 100 retailers and 70 million consumers in its latest study, and found that 54 percent of mobile phone sales and 80 percent of tablet sales came from iOS devices.

The study also notes that online shopping continues to grow dramatically, going from $2.2 billion spent in 2010 to $42.8 billion spent using mobile devices in 2013, with expectations that mobile shopping will hit $50 billion or more this year. Four years ago, 97 percent of all online shopping was done using a traditional PC or notebook; today, that figure is down to around 63 percent, though mitigated by the correlation between visits to sites on mobile and desktops. Many shoppers appear to use mobile devices for "browsing" before actually buying on their home computer.

In both phones and tablets, Samsung has emerged as Apple's main rival from the standpoint of actual use when engaging in e-commerce. For smartphones, Samsung has gone from seven percent "share" of mobile online sales to just over 30 percent, while Apple has slipped from 75 percent in 2012 to 53.6 percent as of May.

It should be noted that Samsung has been unable to significantly increase its share since 2012 and the release of the Galaxy S3. All other competitors in the mobile phone space have actually dropped since 2010, from 18 percent to 15.9 percent, presumably led by the fall of BlackBerry.

On tablets, however, the tale is a bit different. While Samsung has gained and Apple has fallen, the iPad maker is still responsible for 80 percent of all online shopping done from tablets, with Samsung struggling to crack 13 percent after four years. Amazon's Kindle Fire has claimed a further 4.5 percent of sales, though these are largely only to Amazon itself. Google's own line of Nexus tablets accounted for around one percent of mobile tablet shopping revenue.

All other competitors combined have fallen by nearly half, from 4.6 percent of online sales from tablets in 2010 to just 2.5 percent now. Interestingly, tablets combined accounted for slight more mobile revenue than smartphones, again reinforcing the idea that consumers tend to browse more on their phones, but buy on larger devices.

Overall, Apple "owns" 78 percent of mobile shopping, with all Android tablets and smartphones combined amounting to 22 percent in US mobile e-commerce, all but one percent of the Android figure coming from Samsung alone. The finding reinforces the theory that a significant percentage of so-called "smartphones" powered by Android are in fact used primarily as feature phones, either due to feature limitations or the unwillingness of users to leverage Internet-based functions -- mainly using their phones for just texting, calling and games and little else. Another possibility is that sales to end-users of Android phones do not directly correspond to shipment reports from manufacturers.
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