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Report: iPhone Already Crushing Samsung Models Apple Wants Banned

By Marcus Wohlsen

 

iPhone web traffic vs. contested Samsung smartphones

The eight Samsung smartphones Apple wants a U.S. judge to ban after winning its patent case might symbolize all that Steve Jobs hated about the Android competition. But according to a new report, the iPhone by one measure has already trounced the allegedly infringing handsets, ban or no ban.

Advertising analytics firm Chitika measured a week’s worth of U.S. mobile web traffic generated by the iPhone versus the eight contested Samsung phones — hundreds of millions of impressions in all, according to the company. The result: iPhones drove eight times the mobile web usage of all eight Samsung models combined. Or to put another way, iPhones accounted for 88 percent of all web traffic analyzed, versus 11 percent generated in total by all the phones targeted by Apple. (The Epic 4G was the next-highest single-model traffic generator at 4 percent).

Make no mistake: Samsung ships nearly double the number of smartphones as Apple. And Android is still the world’s most widespread mobile operating system. The report analyzes phone usage rather than sales, which, as Alexis Madrigal has keenly observed, tells you not which phones are selling, but which phones their users find most engaging.

As such, the report’s findings cut both ways for Apple, says its author:

With none of these (Samsung) phones being recent releases, it is unlikely that such a ban, or a lack thereof, would have a significant effect on Samsung or Apple market share or momentum. Samsung is close to, or has already, released several new, non-patent infringing flagship phones, and the upcoming release of the iPhone 5 will excite both new and old Apple customers, along with pushing the price of older models slightly lower.

In other words, Apple has already so far surpassed the targeted Samsung phones in terms of user engagement that pulling them from shelves won’t lead to more iPhones or fewer Samsung handsets sold. In that light, Apple’s strategy looks mostly symbolic: Don’t mess with us, or we won’t stop until we’ve destroyed you. After all, in thermonuclear war, the endgame isn’t compromise; it’s annihilation.

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