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Day January 14, 2011

Is Android more efficient than iOS at generating search revenue?

Thanks to David Chu for forwarding the data that made this possible and reader Narajanan for spotting the divergence in platform efficiency.

iOS and Android are both growing rapidly. According to Gartner, during the first three quarters of 2010, about 44 million iOS devices and 36 million Android devices were put into use. That’s 80 million devices. An amazing achievement for two platforms that did not exist 3 years earlier.

But obviously not all devices are used the same way. Devices which have unused capabilities limit network effects for a platform and for the category of product in general. Question is: how can we measure the “smartness” of a device; how much more likely is a device to be used as a mobile computer vs. being a regular phone?

The best proxy I can think of is a measurement of browsing use.