Android closes in on Windows as users switch to mobile for internet access

Android may soon overtake Windows as the most popular operating system for accessing the internet, as smartphones become an increasingly popular browsing tool.

In February 2017, Google’s mobile-only operating system carried 37.4 percent of global internet traffic, close to Windows’s share across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile of 38.6 percent, according to web analytics firm StatCounter.

This is a considerable increase from January 2012, when Android’s share was 2.2 percent compared to Windows’s share of 82 percent.

Windows still dominates the desktop market with 84.1 percent of internet usage in February.

However, StatCounter’s CEO Aodhan Cullen said that smartphone use to access the internet was growing, alongside a slowdown in PC sales and market conditions in Asia.

“Windows has won the desktop war but the battlefield has moved on,” said Cullen.

The highest Android use is in Asia, where the lower cost of mobile devices has led to greater adoption than desktop.

There, Android takes a 51.8 percent share of internet traffic compared to Windows’ 29.8 percent.

In Europe, Windows takes 51.8 percent compared to Android’s 23.5 percent, while in North America, Windows takes 40.7 percent compared to Android at 20.3 percent.

Worldwide internet usage by mobile and tablet devices exceeded desktop and laptop worldwide for the first time last October.

StatCounter data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over 2.5 million websites.

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