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Blog

The non-Ashes

Published on Friday, August 7, 2015

The non-Ashes

Comparing the UK and Australian web browsing market

The early part of July saw England and Australia resume hostilities in The Ashes – the most hotly contested long form competition in global Cricket. Whilst the sport, never mind this particular contest, is well-known but rarely understood outside the countries where it is played, the competition remains the fiercest rivalry in the game’s history.

England (or in the case of the following data, the United Kingdom) and Australia vary greatly but do have a number of things in common as countries. Both are English speaking, both feature in the top 30 wealthiest in the world according to GDP per capita and both share many aspects of a common heritage.

Using 51Degrees’ web browsing data, collected from more than 3 billion unique data sessions per month, it is also possible to see how the countries differ in terms of web browsing statistics. 51Degrees provides web servers with device detection services, enabling them to far more accurately understand the traffic that is visiting the website and optimise the user experience.

% of web traffic generated by devices running on Android operating system in United Kingdom in May 2015.
% of web traffic generated by devices running on Android operating system in Australia in May 2015.

Looking at web traffic across all devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop) there is a good deal of consistency between the UK and Australia over the proportion of web browsing coming from smartphones: in the UK it is just over 60% and in Australia just under. However there is an interesting divergence on the proportion of traffic generated from tablets and desktops. In Australia 10% more browsing sessions are generated from PCs compared to the UK. The UK sees more traffic coming from tablets, suggesting that perhaps the tablet market is more advanced in the UK.

% of web traffic generated by various device types in May 2015 (UK vs Australia).

Despite this, the percentage of browsing coming from iOS devices in Australia is a little higher than in the UK, at 75% compared to almost 70%. The popularity of iOS in Australia has been evidenced before by 51Degrees, as outlined in this article on The Register. The additional interest in Android in the UK may be due to a wider choice of devices or possibly the relatively slow growth of Android in the Australian market, which may now be changing.

Either way the fragmented nature of Google’s mobile OS is more noticeable in the UK than Australia. Almost 75% of Android browsing down under comes from Samsung devices, which is dramatically higher than in the UK at just more than 55%. In the Australian market no other Android manufacturer can boast a double digit percentage of browsing share, whereas at least in the UK Sony has around 12.5%.

In conclusion, whilst the patterns of behaviour are similar in each country, there is a noticeable difference in tablet usage with far more in the UK. iOS is more popular in Australia than the UK and those who do browse on Android will most likely be using a Samsung device.

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