iPhone Dominates Mobile Web Traffic

Apple's smartphone has a commanding lead in mobile Web traffic, but Android is steadily gaining market share.

Marin Perez, Contributor

March 2, 2009

2 Min Read

Apple's iPhone 3G had more than 67% of all mobile Web searches for the month of February, according to a new report from Net Applications.

The report, which measures the market share for mobile browsers capable of rendering HTML pages and JavaScript, said Android and BlackBerry also are rapidly gaining market share. But this doesn't mean that the iPhone's Web browsing share is declining because the overall market is growing, Net Applications said.

Apple's smartphone has been a popular Web-browsing device since its introduction about two years ago because of its large screen and browser. Many cell phone users were used to stripped-down WAP versions of Web sites, but the WebKit-based mobile Safari offered a full, rich HTML experience. Additionally, the multitouch interface made zooming and panning easier than previous browsers.

The iPhone 3G has led to even more mobile Web surfing, as Apple claimed the boosted connectivity was nearly twice as fast as the EDGE connection. Companies like Amazon.com and Facebook noticed this increase of mobile surfing and have created mobile sites that are specifically tailored for the iPhone.

The second-largest platform for mobile surfing was Sun Microsystems' Java ME, which has a very large installed base on a variety of phones, including entry-level devices and smartphones. Browsers like Opera Mini, which has more than 20 million users, are based on Java ME.

Google's Android operating system already has 6.2% of the market, which is pretty good considering the T-Mobile G1 was released last October. This may not be much of a surprise because the open source Android has deep hooks into Google's Web application services, and it was designed to be constantly connected to the Internet.

Despite a sizable user base, Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform only had about 2.2% of the market. This is primarily because most BlackBerrys have a WAP-based browser, but RIM is arming handsets like the Bold and Storm with full HTML browsers.

Whatever the handset, your company's ability to manage these devices as corporate assets, including controlling the data and applications that run on them, has not kept pace. InformationWeek interviewed 300 IT managers and has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).

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