August 17, 2011 | by Tony Price
Chitika Insights, the research division of online ad agency Chitika, has compiled information to create a chart showing the Android traffic by carrier. This represents the percentage of total active Android devices on each of the carrier within Chitika’s ad network.
A chart Chitika published in March shows the Android Market share greatly favored Verizon, which had more than 51 percent of the market. The next biggest was Sprint, with a share of 25.3%. Then came T-Mobile, with 16.8%, followed by AT&T with only 3.6%. These numbers weren’t that surprising considering the timing of the collection. AT&T was still pretty much the sole carrier of Apple’s iPhone, meaning that it didn’t push Android phones as hard as the other carriers.
Flash forward to today, and the scene looks a little different. Compare the two charts below and look at the difference between March and August.
While Verizon is still the leading Android carrier, its share has dropped to 41.1%. Sprint is pretty much holding steady at 25.7%. T-Mobile hasn’t moved much, sitting at 16.0%. The other big change on the graph is AT&T, who now has 8.7% of the Android carrier traffic.
Now, there are a couple things to discuss about this data. First is the obvious fact that AT&T is growing while Verizon is falling. That is probably due to one change in the market, and that change is iPhone availability. With Verizon now offering Apple’s smart phone, you are seeing their share growing month-over-month in iOS traffic. That also means that AT&T would be losing some ground in iPhone market share.
The other aspect of this that I find interesting is the combined power of the AT&T and T-Mobile slices. It is common knowledge that AT&T is the process of buying T-Mobile. If you combine those two, AT&T would have 24.7% of the Android traffic. That would show a significant growth for AT&T, who needs a little help after the aforementioned iPhone traffic change.
It’s also important to note that this data may not be completely accurate. For example, Sprint reported that it gained 1 million customers in the last quarter, while T-Mobile reported a loss of 50,000 in the same time period. You would think that both carriers would show more change than they did, considering how reliant both companies are on Android devices.
What do you think of these numbers? Do they mean anything to you? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Update: This article was updated for formatting and to correct figures about T-Mobile’s previous losses I mistakenly added to Tony’s original story. – Andrew Kameka, Managing Editor