Top mobile operating systems. Source: Global Statcounter, November 2011. Click for larger.

A pair of reports released today reveal that Apple’s iOS mobile platform increased its lead over Android for the month of November, while Symbian remains the most commonly-used mobile operating system globally. This follows last month’s trend when iOS increased its lead over Android as well.

Per Global Statcounter data, a mobile analytics service tracking three million sites, iOS in November 2011 accounted for nearly one-quarter of mobile OSs, growing from 23.48 percent in October to 24.21 percent in November as Android dropped marginally from 22.11 percent share to 21.9 percent share.

Apple’s lead should be viewed in the light of pent-up demand and the successful iPhone 4S launch, which sold four million units during the launch weekend. Symbian remained the leading mobile OS with a 30.95 percent share (up from 29.84 percent in October), while BlackBerry OS recorded another loss, dropping from 9.49 in October to 8.44 percent in November.

Net Applications, which collects data from the 40,000 participating web sites, paints a different picture but relative differences between mobile OSs appear to confirm Global Statcounter’s findings. According to Net Applications, both iOS and Android lost share in November, with the former dropping as much as 7.46 percentage points, going from 61.5 percent share in October down to 54.04 percent in November.

Android in the same period went from 18.86 to 16.72 percent share. However, Symbian – the top mobile OS in the Global Statcounter survey, emerged an also-ran in Net Applications data, having recorded just 5.27 percent share in November (3.47 percent in October). Interestingly, Android’s lead over Java ME was short-lived: The latter grew from  12.81 percent in October to 19.69 percent share in November, overtaking Android after Google’s software had managed to pass passed Java ME devices in October, for the first time.

Top mobile operating systems. Source: Net Applications, November 2011. Click for larger.

Looking at just mobile browsers, Global Statcounter pegged Android at 20.41 percent share in Nobvember, down from 20.88 a month earlier, while iOS grew from 18.78 to 19.53 percent share. This points to the conclusion that iOS’s lead in web page-heavy tablets is bigger than Android’s lead in relatively light usage smartphones. Net Applications confirms those relative trends. iPod touch, BlackBerry and Nokia all lost mobile browsing share in November and Opera remained the most commonly-used mobile browser, going from 21.52 in October to 22.49 percent share in November. Users are increasingly spending more time accessing the web through mobile devices at the expense of desktop computers. Mobile accounted for 6.95 percent share of all web use in November (6.55 percent a month earlier) while desktop platforms lost 0.40 percentage point, going from 93.45 in October to 93.05 in November.


Top mobile browsers. Source: Net Applications, November 2011. Click for larger.

Top mobile browsers. Source: Global Statcounter, November 2011. Click for larger.

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