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AdMob issues April smartphone web usage report; iPhone dominates HTML, Symbian needs a new browser

AdMob, a leading mobile ad service provider, issues mobile metrics and analysis each month and today it has released April data. Key points from AdMob’s press release:

  • While Gartner estimated global 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. This means that smartphones accounted for nearly 3 times more usage than their relative market share.
  • The iPhone OS had 8 percent of the smartphone market, but generated 43 percent of mobile Web requests and 65 percent of HTML usage.
  • The Android OS share of the smartphone market was less than 1 percent, but generated 3 percent of mobile Web requests and 9 percent of HTML usage.
  • The Symbian OS had 52 percent of the smartphone market, but generated only 36 percent of mobile Web usage and 7 percent of HTML usage.
  • Usage of mobile Web sites greatly out paces usage of HTML sites on smartphones running the Symbian and RIM Operating System (OS).
  • 24 percent of US requests were made over a Wi-Fi network. The top five Wi-Fi devices in terms of usage were the iPhone, iPod touch, Sony PSP, HTC Dream (G1), and HTC Dash.

There are definitely some interesting takeaways here — the most interesting to us is actually the Symbian stat. Symbian has 52 percent of the market but generated only 7 percent of HTML usage. 7 percent! Conversely, the iPhone holds about 8 percent of the smartphone market but accounts for 65 percent of mobile HTML usage. Even Android, which accounts for 1 percent of smartphones worldwide, topped Symbian with 9 percent of HTML traffic.

The Webkit-based S60 browser is certainly capable of displaying HTML but as we’ve commented on numerous occasions, it’s clunky and slow. We really (REALLY) hope this will be a particular area of focus as the Symbian Foundation continues work on Symbian^2 because S60 5th Edition hardly addresses the issue. Oh and RIM, your browser is even worse… But you know this.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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