At the iPhone 4S launch last week Apple CEO Tim Cook projected a slide that showed Apple dominating Android in terms of mobile Internet usage. Upon seeing that slide, people tweeted remarks like: “Where is he getting his numbers?” Indeed, they seemed made up given Android’s surge over the past six months.

Android Has Larger Share Than Apple…

The data were credited to comScore, which today released those numbers and a great deal more data on smartphone and tablet usage. The pie chart below reflects comScore’s most recent U.S. mobile OS market share data for August 2011, where Android leads Apple in market share, 43.7% to 27.3% of the U.S. smartphone operating systems out there:

But Apple Sends Traffic

But when it comes to driving traffic, Apple’s iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) is responsible for almost 59 % of non-PC traffic in the U.S. vs. 32 % for Android.

Over 100 Million Mobile Media Users Served

For the first time comScore said that there are more than 100 million “mobile media” users (apps, data, mobile Internet) in the U.S., 116 million to be precise. This is a powerful milestone that effectively means the mobile Internet (browser + apps) has grown to become more than half the size of the PC internet — in a little under five years.

Email, Weather Most Sought

Below are data on the relative reach of different types of mobile activities:

  1. Email: 81 million mobile users
  2. Weather: 72.7 million visitors
  3. Social networking sites/blogs: 72.2 million visitors
  4. Games: 66.7 million users
  5. Search: 61.5 million users
  6. Accessing maps: 53.9 million users

Mobile Remains Small Slice Of Overall Internet Traffic

Several analyst firms have predicted that there will be more Internet traffic from mobile devices in the next three to four years than from PCs. Yet overall mobile remains just under 7 percent of all digital traffic, according to comScore.

Tablets Convert More Than Smartphones

Also worth highlighting here is some of the data on tablets. ComScore found that nearly half of tablet owners have made or completed a purchase on their tablet:

Tablet owners exhibited significant use of their devices throughout the entire online shopping process — from doing the initial planning, conducting product and store research, making price comparisons, to finally transacting. In the past month, more than half of tablet owners looked up product or price information for a specific store (56 percent) and read customer ratings and reviews while on a tablet (54 percent).

Tablets are thus much more successful commerce platforms than smartphones to date. Perhaps it’s time to rebrand what has been called “m-commerce” (for mobile) as “t-commerce” (for tablet).

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