Apple iPhone Tops Mobile Web Searches

The Apple iPhone was the source of more mobile Web searches in February than all other mobile and wireless devices combined, according to a report from Net Applications. The RIM BlackBerry and Google Android operating systems are steadily gaining market share, however. Microsoft Windows Mobile and Palm OS also ranked in the report.

Apple iPhones were the device of choice for the overwhelming majority of mobile Web searches performed in the month of February, according to a report from Net Applications.

The March 2 report measured the market share for mobile browsers capable of rendering HTML pages and JavaScript.

While phones running the Google Android operating system and Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices have made some gains, iPhones dominated the marketplace with 66 percent of all searches, according the report. Java ME, which is installed in a number of handsets, including those from Nokia, ranked a deep second, with 9.11 percent of searches.

Java ME was followed by Windows Mobile with 6.9 percent, Android with 6.26 percent, Symbian with 6.17 percent and Palm with 2.37 percent. BlackBerry and Qualcomm's BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Windows) finished out the bottom, with 2.24 percent and 0.51 percent, respectively.

The iPhone's dramatic outranking of its peers-likely attributable to its user-friendly browsing interface-is in keeping with business users' stated reasons for choosing a device and the features they care about most.

The J.D. Power & Associates "2008 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study" revealed that "ease of operation" was the feature that mattered most to surveyed users, while "Internet capability" was the No. 1 reason-chosen by 44 percent of business users-for selecting a smartphone.

Google Android and BlackBerry are "rapidly gaining market share," stated the Net Applications report. This does not indicate a reduction in iPhone Web browsing, the report said, but rather that overall market share is expanding.

Android's ranking is particularly worth noting, given that the Google mobile operating system was only introduced in October 2008. Since then, it has steadily maintained over 6 percent market share.