Google Still Far Behind On Mobile Value

12/27/13 10:09AM EST

Google Still Far Behind On Mobile Value Google Still Far Behind On Mobile Value

Image via Flickr/ Kenneth Lu

Holiday sales numbers are beginning to come through, and some trends are as clear as expected. 2013 was the most digital shopping season of all time and mobile recorded a huge uptick in importance. Google has the biggest mobile operating system out there, but the company is still losing out in one respect. An Android user just isn’t all that valuable.

According to the study, which was conducted by IBM analytics, iOS had more than five times the share of online sales that Android recorded. iOS was accountable for 23 percent of online sales compared to the 4.6 percent that Android was accountable for. The study took a look at sales and traffic in the United States during the holiday period. iOS accounted for 32.6 percent of web traffic while Andoid accounted for just 14.8 percent.

Apple Beats Google To Value

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still has the most valuable customer base. Commerce is supposed to be in the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wheelhouse, but the company cannot seem to make Android work as well as iOS for the task. The structure of the market may be against Google in some respects.

Android may be well ahead of iOS in market share, but the demographics of those markets are very different. Google has a greater mix of income levels using its operating system. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tends to have higher earners holding its smart phones. Even with a huge majority Android users probably wouldn’t outspend iOS users. In the United States the Google operating system has a relatively slim advantage.

People in the United States don’t use their Android phones to browse the internet, and they certainly don’t use their phones to buy things online. That looks like a clear weakness for Google in a year that it appeared to clinch victory over Apple in the battle for mobile dominance. Apple may be losing its margin and market share, but the company is not losing its customer base. iOS customers are online more, they buy more and when they buy they buy bigger.

Google Aims For Value

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not really trying to aim at a valuable demographic with Android, but it certainly could be doing better than this study indicates. The company is trying to flood the market with Android devices in order to get as many people online for as much of their time as possible. People now have the smart phones in their hands, but those on Android are oddly unable to make the leap to 24 hour internet usage.

Google still has a large amount of tricks up its sleeve to make that happen. The company is making the internet faster and more affordable already, and it’s sure to have more ideas as 2014 progresses. Last year saw Google push a smart phone and tablet into the hands of more and more Americans. In 2014 the search giant may actually convince Android users to boot up once in a while.

Disclosure: Author has no position in any stocks mentioned, nor does he plan to initiate one in the next 48 hours.