iPhone, Kindle, Surface Biggest Winners of Holiday Season; iPad Not So Much – Chitika Holiday Mobile Progress Report

According to the Chitika Holiday Mobile Progress Report, this past season capped yet another banner year for the sales of mobile devices, and subsequent usage figures exemplify this flurry of activity.

Chitika Insights tracked this phenomena last holiday season as part of a 2013 white paper, examining changes in North American Web traffic share, finding found that Amazon and Microsoft had the most promising holiday seasons within the tablet marketplace, while Apple was the only manufacturer to gain usage share amongst all major smartphone competitors.

To quantify this latest report, Chitika Insights surveyed a sample of tens of millions of smartphone and tablet online ad impressions from the Chitika network. This study was drawn from a date range of December 20 to December 29, 2013, and only includes Web traffic generated within the U.S. and Canada.

As seen above, Apple experienced diverging fortunes when it came to post-Christmas usage share changes in 2013. Chitika says the iPhone was the only smartphone to show usage share gains in the wake of the holiday (+1.8%), likely indicating that Apple’s latest set of 5s and 5c devices remained a hit with consumers. On the other hand, the iPad’s tablet usage share slipped by 1.3 percentage points against its competitors, which the report says could be partially due to the Apple tablet’s higher price point deflecting people to other brands for purposes of gift-giving. However, in both the smartphone and tablet spaces, Apple users still generate the highest share North American Web traffic as compared to any other manufacturer.

In tablet space, share gains by Amazon and Microsoft, among others, also contributed to the slight iPad drop, with the Kindle Fire continuing its remarkable run to the top of the Android tablet marketplace – making 2013 the second year in a row in which Amazon’s tablet family posted the largest post-Christmas tablet usage share gain.

Microsoft’s Surface lineup also continued an impressive year end run, with Surface users generating more tablet traffic than all Google Nexus tablet users following the holiday, making Microsoft the fourth-largest source of continental tablet Web traffic should it maintain the lion’s share of this latest share growth.

Comparing the full set of figures to what Chitika Insights observed in 2012, they note that consistencies emerge, with raw ad impression volume increases suggesting that smartphones undoubtedly remain a popular gift for many, but the resulting relatively minor share changes indicate that the continental smartphone marketplace has largely reached maturity. They expect only minor volatility going forward.

On the other end of the spectrum, they observe that volume changes for tablets have been larger following the holidays, and the market has experienced more dramatic share variations, exemplifying the growing footprint of tablets domestically along with the vibrant competitive environment. While they say Apple’s iPad is unlikely to relinquish its crown as top driver of tablet Web traffic in the forseeable future, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has performed very well for a second consecutive year, and Microsoft’s notable year-over-year rise in the space, from 0.4% share to 2.3%, underscores the market’s more “wide open” nature.

You can read the full report here:

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