iPad grabs top spot as preferred Black Friday shopping tool

Credit: Roman Loyola

Apple retained its stranglehold on mobile shopping over the two-day stretch of Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the U.S., IBM said last weekend.

More than three-fourths of all mobile traffic to online retailers during those two discount days was generated by Apple’s iPhone and iPad, according to IBM, whose Digital Analytics Benchmark regularly monitors online retail traffic. The two iOS devices accounted for 77 percent of all mobile traffic.

The remaining 23 percent was credited to Android-powered smartphones or tablets, with the latter represented by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Apple’s iPad was the most-used device for mobile shopping, said IBM, accounting for 40.6 percent of the total. The iPhone followed, with a 36.3 percent share, while Android—both smartphones and tablets—brought up the rear with 23.1 percent.

Less than 5 percent, or under one-fifth of Android’s total, came from Android-powered tablets.

“The iPad dominated tablet traffic,” said IBM in its report ( download PDF), noting that almost nine-tenths of all tablet-generated retail traffic originated on an iPad.

This was the third year running that the iPad increased its share of Thanksgiving-Black Friday mobile traffic.

Meanwhile, Android, which had remained mired at around 28% for the last two years, slipped in 2012 to 23 percent, despite Android’s continuing dominance of the smartphone OS market. In the third quarter, Android smartphones outsold the iPhone 5-to-1, Gartner said two weeks ago.

Overall, mobile devices accounted for 24 percent of all online traffic during the two days, an increase of 69 percent from the 14.2 percent of 2011, and more than four times that of the 5.3 percent in 2010.

Online sales were up 17.4 percent on Thanksgiving, up 20.7 percent on Black Friday, over the same days in 2011, IBM said. Metric firm comScore, however pegged Black Friday’s online sales gain at 26 percent, and Monday said that total online sales for the day had passed the $1 billion mark for the first time.

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