Every month we review our statistics to see what devices and operating systems our readers are using to view our site. We do this for several reasons. The foremost is to make sure changes we make to the site, or features we add will work on the majority of devices being used to view the site. A good example of this was last month when we made some changes, we abandoned support for Internet Explorer 6 altogether. The statistics showed that we were seeing less than 0.5% of our traffic from IE6 and getting even basic features of the site to work with that browser was next to impossible.
The next obvious reason to keep an eye on the figures is to make sure our site’s content is relevant for our readers and the technology they are using. Our aim is to deliver news that is pertinent to our core demographic, which for us means delivering Irish based news on mobile technology. It keeps us on our toes and helps shape the direction that we take.
Since we started Irish Tech News in 2010, we have seen all of the major mobile operating systems and devices rise and in some cases fall to near non existence, as you’ll see in the stats below. Around 18 months ago, BlackBerry devices accounted for over 20% of the total traffic to our site, today those figures aren’t looking so healthy. After the first iPad launched it took about 8 months before we started to see significant traffic from it. It then obviously rose to complete dominance for tablet traffic for quite some time but as cheaper Android tablets started to become more prevalent, we started to see that dominance be eroded. For a while I thought it would lose its top spot on our servers but as you’ll see below it has now regained a large chunk of the ground it lost and is out on its own again.
Another area that was on the charge 12 months ago was OS X. From a purely desktop point of view it was closing month on month on Windows, which was always a great source of debate among the ITN team as those of us who fall on the OS X side of the fence thought we were finally going to see an end to Windows’ dominance! Even though Windows 8 hasn’t been well received by many, Windows has jumped out on its own again as not only the dominant desktop OS but as the overall leader in page views.
One of the main changes though and probably the main reason I wrote this article is that Android, as a smartphone OS, has finally caught up with iOS. That may seem crazy to some people reading this article, but this is the first time that both OS’, from a smartphone point of view, are neck in neck. While we see many reports every day about how Android is being sold on so many more devices than every other OS, Android has been the poor relation of iOS in this country to date. We’ll have to wait until next month to see if the 5S and 5C can make any dent in those stats.