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Google gains iPhone traffic, updates apps

updated 11:30 am EST, Mon January 14, 2008

Google iPhone traffic

iPhone traffic at Google surged to unprecedented levels during Christmas, new statistics indicate. The New York Times reports that, based on internal data from Google, more iPhones were connecting during Christmas than any other mobile device, despite the fact that industry figures show only two percent of smartphones worldwide as belonging to Apple. A few days after Christmas, iPhone traffic dropped below that of phones using the Nokia-backed Symbian operating system, but kept a second-place ranking.

Surpassing Symbian at all may be an achievement, as the platform accounts for 63 percent of the smartphone market. Windows Mobile holds 11 percent, while BlackBerries amount to 10 percent. The momentary surge is being attributed mainly to the sharing of iPhones as gifts, but also to the device's web browser, which Needham & Company analyst Charles Wolf says removes the frustration from browsing on a cellphone.

At the beginning of this week's Macworld Expo, meanwhile, Google has updated its the iPhone versions of its web applications. As whole, the apps should now have improved looks, and be easier to use on a touchscreen; one of these improvements is the ability to customize which sites appear on the menu bar, making it easier to switch between a user's favorites.

Gmail now has the critical addition of automatic refreshing, eliminating the need to hit the Refresh button to download new messages. Similarly, the app has been sped up by the inclusion of auto-completing contacts. Finally, the iPhone version of iGoogle has been altered to support gadgets, which are normally reserved for the desktop site.

A New Yorker article mentions tangentially that as a result of Google's Android platform and the Open Handset Alliance, CEO Eric Schmidt has had to pull back in his participation with Apple. While Schmidt sits on Apple's board of directors, he is now excusing himself from discussions relating to cellphones. The two companies have otherwise been drawn closer together, partly because of Google Maps support on the iPhone.

Written, edited and compiled by Jeff Valvano

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone detractors...

    Reports like this make me chuckle at all the "I won't by an iPhone until (insert feature or function) is added." Apparently the iPhone is more than good enough for millions of users. My son just bought one to replace his Motorola Razr and is pleased as punch with it. I guess I can understand some individuals thinking their opinions are the rule rather than the exception. Makes you wonder how the rest of their lives are going in their "my way or the highway" universes. I've always been more inclinded to adapt myself to the technology rather than to rant on about how something doesn't work the way I think it should.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Must have more features..

    is the geeks battlecry. Most of the iPhone users are probably more than satisfied 95% of the time. The iPhone is easy to learn and easy to use. Nearly all of it's functions can be learned in a very short time.

    The people who won't buy the iPhone because of it's weak hardware are undoubtedly hardware junkies. If it doesn't have the latest hardware specs, it's not worthwhile. Most junkies would rather have hardware over usability even if they don't use the hardware most of the time.

    Not having a 5 MP camera, no 3G, no GPS won't be tolerated by hardware junkies. It doesn't matter if those latter two pieces of hardware will tear into battery life. That's their choice and shouldn't be criticized for it.

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