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Mobile Web browsing via iOS highest: NetMarketShare

Web browsing via mobile devices is growing and iOS is the operating system of choice for such activity, according to new data from NetMarketShare.

In December, 52.10 percent of mobile Web browsing took place via iPhones and iPads while only 16.29 percent occurred via Android devices. At the same time, mobile devices accounted for 7.67 percent of all Web browsing, up from 3.88 percent in February of 2011.

Interestingly, the data puts Java ME – which is used in many low-cost feature phones – in second place behind iOS with a 21.27 share of mobile Web browsing.

Symbian is in fourth place with a 5.76 share and BlackBerry follows with 3.51 percent.

Desktop browsing down
Mobile Web browsing is growing at the expense of desktop browsing, which had a 95.61 percent share at the beginning of last year and ended the year with a 91.99 percent share.

IOS consistently held the top spot for mobile Web browsing in 2011 with some fluctuations in its share levels. It started out last year with a 46.57 percent share and it reached its high point in October with a 61.5 percent share.

Web browsing is pretty evenly split between iPhone and iPad devices. But even if the iPad is removed from the results, the iPhone still beats out other operating systems for share of mobile Web browsing.

IOS also beats out Android for app downloads, according to recent data from Flurry Analytics. However, if current download trends continue, Google’s Android is on pace to compete head to head with iOS this year.

The NetMarketShare numbers point to the strength of Apple’s mobile devices for Web browsing.

IOS’ strength in terms of Web browsing is especially significant when you consider that iOS is not the dominant smartphone operating system, Android is. According to recent data from Kantar Worldpanel Com Tech, iOS had a 30.9 percent share of smartphone sales in Britain for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 27, 35.8 percent in the U.S. and 41.3 percent in Australia.

Android, however, had a 46.4 percent share of smartphones sales in Britain, 52.8 percent in the U.S. and 46.7 percent in Australia.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York