Apple iPhone OS Tops Smartphone Market, Report Argues

Sales may be slow, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a phone in every hand. AdMob offers a new way to rank the Apple iPhone, Symbian, RIM BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows, Google Android and Palm operating systems, not by their sales but by their mobile Web usage.

Did you know that the top five smartphones accessing Wi-Fi networks are the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the Sony PSP, the HTC Dream and the HTC Dash? Or that 24 percent of U.S. ad requests on smartphones are made over a Wi-Fi network?
These numbers come courtesy of AdMob and its April Mobile Metrics Report. While Gartner and other research companies report the numbers of devices bought and sold, AdMob, which tracks ad requests, impressions and clicks, is tuned in to who's using what and how.
"While Gartner estimated that global phone smartphone sales represented 12 percent of total device sales in 2008, 35 percent of AdMob's worldwide ad requests in April 2009 came from smartphones," stated the AdMob report, released May 27. "This means that smartphones accounted for nearly three times more mobile Web usage than their device market share."
In March, Gartner ranked smartphone market share by operating system using handset sales, attributing 52 percent of the market to Symbian, followed by Research In Motion's BlackBerry line with 17 percent market share, Microsoft Windows phones with 12 percent and the Apple iPhone with 8 percent.
In April, AdMob also ranked smartphone market share by operating system, but in terms of mobile Web and application usage, and found that the iPhone claimed 43 percent of the market share, followed by Symbian with 36 percent, RIM with 9 percent and Windows with 5 percent.
AdMob reported that owners of smartphones running the Symbian and RIM operating systems favored mobile Websites over HTML sites, but the reverse was true for iPhones and phones running Google's Android operating system.
Comparing its mobile Web and application data with data provided by Net Applications, which collects mobile browsing data from devices that render HTML pages and JavaScript, AdMob reported that the iPhone OS, while holding only 8 percent of the smartphone market share, generated 43 percent of mobile Web requests and 65 percent of HTML usage.
Android, similarly, accounted for less than 1 percent of smartphones sold in 2008, but generated 3 percent of mobile Web usage.
The complete report is available for download on the AdMob site.