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Apple's market-leading iPad drives more than 97 percent of tablet traffic in the U.S. That leaves competitors like the BlackBerry PlayBook, ASUS Eee Pad, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Galaxy Tab with a paltry three percent. So says a new study from comScore called Device Essentials.
The study demonstrates how difficult it is for tablet competitors to steal market share from a dominant, first-to-market Apple. While some companies are just working to get their first tablets to consumers, Apple has already introduced the iPad 2.
"Without a doubt, the iPad is the device to beat in the marketplace. We are not seeing a whole lot of demand right now for some of these other devices," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner. "There is still a lot of opportunity, though. The market is nascent in terms of how it might grow. The real question that consumers are asking is why they shouldn't buy an iPad. Companies are struggling to provide that answer."
Where Android Wins
The iPad's contribution to total non-computer device traffic is highest in Canada at 33.5 percent. Brazil has the second-highest non-computer device share of traffic coming from the iPad at 31.8 percent. In Singapore, where non-computer devices comprise nearly six percent of total traffic, the iPad accounts for 26.2 percent of this traffic.
iPod touches contribute a notable percentage of non-computer device traffic across most countries, according to comScore, while other devices such as e-readers and gaming systems contribute only a very modest percentage.
What does this mean for Android-powered tablets? A massive game of catch-up. ComScore pointed out how Android tablets are significantly behind Apple in the U.S. market. However, the Android platform actually beats Apple in the smartphone space, where Android boasts 35.6 percent versus Apple iOS's 23.5 percent.
Apple Still Dominates
ComScore's Device Essentials study also examined site-content traffic by geography and device type. Among the markets studied, the United Kingdom had the greatest share of non-computer device traffic going to the category at 9.8 percent, followed by Singapore at 8.8 percent, and Japan at seven percent.
ComScore also analyzed the extent to which non-computer device traffic to the newspaper category was overrepresented relative to the category's share of total Internet traffic. With the exception of India, the newspaper category was significantly more likely than average to be accessed via non-computer devices across all countries studied. Brazil offered the highest relative skew in newspaper-category traffic, followed by Chile and the U.K.
Finally, comScore looked at the division between access over mobile networks and access via Wi-Fi/LAN networks. In the smartphone market, 47.5 percent of iPhone traffic occurred over Wi-Fi networks, compared to 21.7 percent for Android phones. For tablets, an overwhelming 91.9 percent of iPad traffic occurred over Wi-Fi networks, compared to 65.2 percent for Android tablets.

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