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iPhone usurps Symbian as most popular phone OS online

updated 03:35 pm EDT, Wed September 30, 2009

AdMob August 2009 gives iPhone the lead

Apple's iPhone OS has successfully overtaken Symbian for the lead in all mobile web traffic, according to the latest data from AdMob. The combined iPhone and iPod touch share has jumped from 33 percent in February to 40 percent in August. Symbian, meanwhile, has almost exactly traded positions with Apple and fell from 43 percent near the start of the year to 34 percent in August.

RIM's BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile and Palm OS also dropped sharply in the same time frame. The BlackBerry fell more softly, from 10 to 8 percent, but the older platforms have dropped off rapidly; Windows Mobile fell from 7 to 4 percent, and the now-discontinued Palm OS has declined from 3 percent to just 1 percent. The fastest risers outside of Apple were relatively new platforms like Android and Palm's webOS, which respectively account for 7 percent and 4 percent of the mobile Internet.

As before, Apple's largest advantages are in North America and Western Europe, where the iPhone OS has over half of a large market. However, Apple now has a dominant 79 percent of mobile traffic in the south Pacific and notably still has the top handheld in most of those markets where it doesn't lead, such as in the Nokia-dominated Asian and Eastern European regions as well as Latin America.

AdMob has previously noted that its data doesn't reflect actual market share, but its data is often a sign of trends in the industry as well as of the relative ease of use of a given platform. The launch of the iPhone 3GS is known to have helped Apple's growth worldwide, while AdMob's data also shows Android-based phones like the HTC Dream (G1) and Magic (myTouch 3G) being particularly popular in North America and Western Europe.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One thing for sure with WinMo

    share shrinking rather rapidly, is that Steve Ballmer had better keep his mouth shut about rounding errors. Whether the iPhone gets huge market share or not, it is making its mark in the smartphone arena. It doesn't seem likely the iPhone is going to make much headway in either Asia or Africa. Those people just don't have enough money to spend. I was hoping that China might welcome the iPhone, but it seems the expense is going to be rather high to own one. The situation doesn't look very hopeful for high iPhone sales with the negative news I've seen.

  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Your concern is misplaced and unfounded

    The iPhone is going to sell like hotcakes in Asia.

    For one thing, it will most likely outshine the competition with its inherently superior font and character handling capabilities. Perhaps the soft keyboard will also excel with Asian character sets.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    eat that

    eat that Ballmer! as far as I can tell... .04 rounds down to 0!!!!!

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    China soon...... Lets see the numbers after a year in china..

    - A

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone in Lesotho

    Actually, I was in Lesotho a few weeks before the 3GS was announced. Right around then, the local mobile company just released the iPhone 3G and it was part of a bigger push to sell 3G. Locals were telling me the 3G sold out at introduction just like it did elsewhere. And even better, they can buy an officially unlocked iPhone 3G. I was contemplating buying one since I was there anyway.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    technically wrong

    The headline is technically wrong. It did not necessarily usurp Symbian in mobile phone OSes online, since the numbers include both iPhones and the non-phone iPod. Unless you think the iPod market is minuscule.

  1. GeneralDMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "technically wrong"

    testudo you're such a douche. everything in this article including the title is referencing the OS.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: testudo

    no, testudo is a moron.

    luckyday is a douche.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: technically wrong

    The title reads

    iPhone usurps Symbian as most popular phone OS online

    Yet the iPod also uses the same OS. The iPod is NOT A PHONE. Ergo, one should not count the iPod portion of that OS usage at all.

    Couldn't one just say that the iPhone OS is based on OS X, so you should count all OS X usage as iPhone OS usage? If you did that, it would skyrocket even higher.

  1. GeneralDMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: technically wrong

    I don't think anyone (including myself) wants to spend any time arguing with Testudo's flawed troll-like logic. So let me summarize what we have learned here:

    1. iPhone OS has successfully overtaken Symbian for the lead in all mobile web traffic, according to the latest data from AdMob.

    2. Testudo is a douche.

    3. Testudo is a also a moron.

    Time to move on to the next article, Testudo.

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