Cage Match: Android vs. iPhone vs. iPod on WVU Mobile Web

As we head into the new semester (freshman arrive today!) I wanted to see how device usage played out over the summer on WVU Mobile Web. With all the talk of Android, and watching a student buy a Samsung Galaxy S at the AT&T store, I figured it'd be a good time to review the numbers. So with that in mind let's look at some for the last month. Note: The caveat to this data is that iPod usage is really driven by on-campus students and we obviously haven't a whole lot of them recently.

We'll start with pretty charts:

Visits by Device to Mobile Web from July 20 to August 19 2010

But maybe a trend line will be a little easier to see:

Trendline of Visits by Device from July 20 to August 19 2010

I'm hopeful that the trend for Android holds out. While I do own an iPhone I believe it's important that other devices get on the scene to bring the mobile web to other users and force companies to start thinking about it instead of native apps. The overall traffic trend has me surprised in that it has picked up so quickly and even before a lot of students have arrived back on campus. I hope this bodes well for good numbers this year. Getting back to the cage match…

In terms of usage the iPhone accounted for 44% of visits during this time. Android accounted for 16.5% and iPod only 13%. During the last school year iPhone and iPod usage were even so we'll see how that holds out to start the new school year and how that affects Android. Beyond really basic usage numbers everything else was surprisingly even between the devices. From pages viewed to bounce rates to percentage of new visits basically all the numbers are relatively even. The only metric with a real difference was time spent on the site. It definitely skewed towards Android with those devices accounting for an average of 7 minutes spent on the site per visit. 5.30 minutes was spent by users with an iPhone and users with an iPod spent a measly three minutes per visit.

I was also curious if type of device mattered in terms of a user exiting out of WVU Mobile Web and using the main home page since these devices promise "the real web." 20% of iPhone users (1 in 5, yikes!) bounced to the home page at some point in their use while only 16% of Android and iPod visits bounced to the home page. Over the semester I'm going to keep an eye on this key data point. We force mobile requests for our home page to our mobile site so if the number rises considerably we're going to have to reevaluate that stance. That number has trended much lower in the past so maybe it's just a summer thing.

To sum up, in raw usage the iPhone is still the device to beat on WVU Mobile Web but the trend might be picking up for Android. We'll have a rematch between the devices in the next month to see if students brought Android devices back with them for the new school year.

Curious about any other aspect of our usage patterns? Drop me a line in the comments.

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