Android devices may have a market-share edge among consumers, but among physicians and other healthcare providers, Apple’s iPhone and iPad still hold a commanding lead over all competing platforms, including Android, RIM and Palm, according to a new analysis by Bulletin Healthcare (

The analysis, based on the reading habits of more than 550,000 healthcare providers, including more than 400,000 physicians who subscribe to Bulletin Healthcare’s daily email briefings, focused on mobile device usage between June 1, 2010 and Feb. 28, 2011. Reaching the members of two-dozen leading medical associations each day, Bulletin Healthcare has a combined audience of roughly half of the practicing physicians in the U.S.,

Examining the proportion of briefings accessed on mobile devices, the analysis indicates that mobile consumption of medical news climbed by 45% between June and February. The result is that almost 3-in-10 healthcare professionals now access the daily medical information contained in their briefings on mobile platforms, while 7-in-10 continue to use traditional desktop platforms. Based on current trends, Bulletin Healthcare expects that ratio to continue to swing strongly in the direction of mobile usage.

“Despite Apple’s longer tenure in the marketplace, we were surprised by the wide margin between Apple devices and others,” says Bill Mulderry, president of Bulletin Healthcare. “Combined, the iPhone and iPad grabbed more than 90% share of use in February, while Android saw only 6% use, and other platforms like RIM and Palm barely registered.”

But just as important as Apple’s dominance, according to Mulderry, was the change in share among platforms: iPhone use fell to 79%, from 86% last June, while iPad share nearly doubled to 14% in February, up from 8% in June. Devices based on Google’s Android operating system – which, according to The Nielsen Company, recently surpassed Apple’s offerings in share of the consumer smartphone market – more than doubled their share between June and February.