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The iPhone's position as America's best-selling smartphone and Apple's dominance of the tablet segment have led to a big lead iOS in mobile web traffic generation in the United States, and that lead continues to grow.
A new report from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster features an independent analysis of traffic for 10 of the top 100 mobile websites. The data led Munster to conclude that iOS users are "generally more engaged with their mobile devices."
Piper Jaffray looked at Answers.com, Tumblr, ChaCha, Examiner, LinkedIn, Bleacher Report, Hubpages, White Pages, Squidoo, and Dictionary.com. Among those sites, Apple's iOS platform averaged better than 65 percent of all traffic across February and March, while Android was under 30 percent.
Also of note was the fact that iOS gained share from February to March, increasing from 65.3 percent to 66.4 percent. That gain came largely at the expense of Google's Android platform, which saw its traffic share dropping from 29.7 percent in February to 28.7 percent in March.
The analysis found the iPhone responsible for most iOS traffic, at roughly 60 percent. The iPad, though, gained on its smaller counterpart from February to March, with Apple's tablet now responsible for 39.7 percent of iOS web traffic.
Munster attributes the wide traffic disparity first to the iPhone's No. 1 spot in smartphone sales at the nation's top two carriers, Verizon and AT&T. The iPhone accounted for some 80 percent of AT&T smartphone sales in the fourth quarter and more than 60 percent at Verizon.
iOS users, the report posits, are also likely more engaged with their phones on a daily basis than the average Android user. Munster also believes that Apple's lead in tablets pushes its overall mobile lead, as tablets tend to generate more traffic than smartphones.
The report concludes that iOS is likely to continue to lead in mobile traffic generation in the US for at least the remainder of 2013. Piper Jaffray maintains its Overweight rating on AAPL, with a target price of $767.