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Android, iPhone Steal Share From Rivals

The iPhone is still the leader of mobile Web surfing, but Android is making a hard charge, according to data from AdMob.

Android is rapidly gaining ground among mobile Internet surfers but Apple's iPhone still remains the king, according to the latest report from the mobile advertising platform AdMob.

The company's latest mobile metrics report measures the amount of ad requests it receives from mobile phones to identify what types of smartphones are popular for mobile Internet browsing. While AdMob's figures aren't definitive because they only measure the company's network, they're a good indicator of mobile Web usage patterns.

The report found the Google-backed Android operating system grew an average of 47% since the release of the T-Mobile G1. The smartphone has deep integration with Google's Web services, and it has sold a million units in about six months. The G1 was able to capture 6% of the operating system market in the United States, and it was the fourth most popular U.S. handset to access the Web, behind the iPhone, BlackBerry Curve, and BlackBerry Pearl.

Apple continues to trounce its competitors, as nearly 50% of U.S. mobile Web surfers were on an iPhone. This figure drops to about 36% for the global market, but it helps cement the trend that iPhone customers use more mobile data than customers on other platforms.

Research In Motion had 22% of the U.S. mobile Web market, and this was buoyed by handsets like the BlackBerry Storm and Curve 8900. Windows Mobile was in third place with 11% of the market, but it failed to have a handset in the top-10 list. Palm tied Android for fourth place, but it likely will make up ground in the next few months with the release of the highly awaited Pre smartphone with WebOS.

Smartphones are becoming increasingly capable of using enterprise-grade applications on the go, and they could ultimately be replacements for laptops. InformationWeek examined this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

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