(Update April 5: Jeff Tribble shows)
Amidst the heated battle between iOS and Android, Appleinsider has a kind of odd story today. The story, which purports to show that iOS is expanding its lead over Android among people browsing the web, quotes a "Jeff Tribble" who is said to be from search engine optimization firm ROI365. Tribble says his data from 4 million web visitors (not "sites" as I had earlier) shows Android web visitors slightly outnumber iPhone visitors but if iPad visitors are included, iOS has a large and growing lead.
That may well be true, but who is this guy and who is his firm that supposedly has the Google Analytics data on 4 million web visitors? If you go to what seems to be the firm's web page, you see this:
And if you search for Mr. Tribble you get a whole lot of nothing. He and his firm appear never to have been quoted by Apple Insider before. And searching for him and ROI365 on Google turns up just 118 links, all to versions of today's Apple Insider story. There's also nothing on LinkedIn for him and a firm called ROI365 does IT staffing and outsourcing. Tribble may be for real but it seems weird that such a huge firm is so absent on the Internet, doesn't it?
UPDATE: Like 11 hours after I emailed Apple Insider, the article's author replied with a blow-off email that didn't answer any of the questions about Tribble or his data:
That's why we used supporting data from two other sources to back up what he said. There is no controversy here.
That's not an answer -- it's almost an admission that they have no idea who Tribble is or why he should be believed. Again, I'm not questioning Android vs. iOS usage statistics here, which we have from all kinds of sources. I'm questioning who is this guy.