Apple iPhone controls over 66% of all mobile web use

In its first detailed look at web market share for cellphones,
a research firm has found that Apple’s iPhone represents a staggering
66.61 percent of mobile traffic while its competitors have only just
gained a foothold.

Net Applications’ February results
show the iPhone operating system having managed over nine times the
usage of its next smartphone competitor, Windows Mobile, which had just
6.91 percent of the traffic measured across tens of thousands of sites.

Other smartphone platforms haven’t fared any better, according to the
metrics. Google’s Android and Symbian were both locked in a tie for
6.15 percent. Research in Motion’s email-centric BlackBerry OS was used
less often at just 2.24 percent and was even outmatched by PalmOS
devices, which represented 2.37 percent of cellular web use last month.

Why the particularly wide gap exists between Apple and its rivals
hasn’t been explained. However, the data backs up AdMob findings which
showed the iPhone getting half of all US smartphone traffic
and a third of smartphone use worldwide during the month before. The
use has previously been credited to a spike in Apple device ownership
after the holidays as well as to the relative strength of the Safari
web browser.

Net Applications February 2009 mobile share
Mobile web market share for February 2009.

Even with such a discrepancy, Net Applications noted that the
achievements of Android and BlackBerry OS are significant; Android
wasn’t even available before October and so gained in four months the
web share that took Symbian years to achieve.

The news may have to placate Apple fans given a fairly stale month in
desktop-class operating systems. Windows has reclaimed a small portion
of its steadily declining share and climbed a fifth of a point to 88.42
percent, while Mac OS X share has backed down from its all-time high in January to 9.61 percent.

And compared to all operating systems, the iPhone still has the same
0.48 percent of the web — making its usage still very small in
comparison to that of the larger computing world.

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