updated 04:35 pm EDT, Tue May 13, 2008
AdMob iPhone Study
Despite its reputation as a web-focused device, the iPhone is still clearly in the minority on the web, according to a tracking study by advertising startup AdMob. Using April ad requests as a means of gauging phone web use, the company finds that the iPhone accounted for just 1.1 percent of cellphone traffic in the US and 0.8 percent worldwide. Both results are dominated by Motorola and Research in Motion phones, with the four-year-old RAZR V3 leading the ranks at 5.3 percent worldwide and 9.1 in its home country; the BlackBerry Pearl (2.6 percent and 5.1 percent) and BlackBerry Curve (1.5 percent and 2.9 percent) were fourth and fifth, the study notes.
Notably, the Apple-made smartphone also trails more significantly when pitted against other smartphones in the results. BlackBerries lead in the US and account for nearly half of all web requests in the country at 47 percent; market leader Nokia occupies a similarly commanding lead on the world stage at 42 percent of requests using its version of the Symbian OS. iPhones represent just six percent of US mobile web hits and five percent in the world. In most cases, the relative newcomer is also equaled or outranked in share by Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices, the study reveals.
AdMob further points out that a significant number of iPhone web requests come from countries that aren't approved to use the handset. About 81 percent of views come from officially sanctioned countries, while the remaining 19 percent comes from users who have unlocked their cellphones in Canada, Hong Kong, and other countries.
The study adds that slightly more than half of all Internet requests on iPhones (54 percent) are made with Wi-Fi rather than the slower EDGE-based cellular connection.
Nonetheless, the appearance of Apple may by itself be significant, according to AdMob. The company is new to the top 20 list of handset vendors and is also seeing an increased number of sites optimized specifically for its view of the web that may grow as iPhone shipments increase.
Cellphone web use: world (left), US (right)