Apple vs Samsung: Which Device Gets the Most Use?


September 19, 2017


min read

September marks the start of wave after wave of smartphone releases as manufacturers race to their spot on Christmas wish lists. But this year may be unusually interesting, as Apple and Samsung, the perennial favorites, make new bets and face growing challengers.Xiaomi?s Mi Mix 2, for instance, just sold out its first run in 58 seconds. Oppo?s next flagship is rumoured to pack the Snapdragon 835--the fastest graphics processor on the market--as well as fast charging, both of which will undoubtedly grab the attention of mobile gamers. The Moto Z2 Play is getting press for its two day battery life and Game Pads that make it look like Nintendo?s Switch?s edgier cousin.The data shows which devices are truly gaining market share in mobile games. We sampled data from our reach into almost a billion phones to see which platforms are most valuable to developers, particularly for advertising.

What phones are most used to play games?

The below data looks at the in-game sessions on the Chartboost platform (1B unique players across over 300k gaming apps) for May, June and July, measuring unique players and advertiser spend for each top device manufacturer.First, a quick guide:

  • % of Unique Players shows the split of users between devices
  • % of Advertiser Spend is the amount of advertising dollars claimed by each device
  • Spend Ratio is their ratio: advertiser spend divided by unique players

A few clear takeaways emerge from this data:

  • The duopoly of Apple (29.18% of uniques) and Samsung (22.19% of uniques) remains strong. Compared to the two, all other device manufacturers have minimal market shares.
  • Between Apple and Samsung, the former offers the most valuable users to advertisers, particularly on iPad. The high percent of players on iPad may also surprise some developers!
  • Despite the duopoly?s power, the rise of Chinese manufacturers is visible: Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei are all grabbing market share. Huawei is attracts the largest advertising budgets, with a spend ratio of 0.4.

What does the new iPhone X and iOS 11 mean for developers?

Apple?s latest opens a new toy box for game developers with its ARKit and end-to-end OLED display. As large a hit as Pokemon Go was last year, these new AR features may open up an even wider space for an innovative hit.Other features of the X (as well as some competing high-end phones), fast charging and longer battery life, don?t look relevant to performance, on their surface. But they very much are: users have long complained of fast battery drain on high-end games. Higher capacity and better charging attack the problem from two different angles.For now, it?s clear that mobile games are spending time on iOS devices with higher ratio of advertiser spend. As Samsung and other devices continue to take market share we might see a shift in the coming year.