Many Worldwide Mobile Phone Users Surf the Web

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 12 2009 2:06 PM

With the iPhone, HTC G1, and Palm Pre are garnering all the mobile phone headlines lately, sometimes it's easy to forget that these aren't the only smartphones in existence (actually, the Palm Pre isn't even available yet).  The number-crunchers over ad AdMob have just reminded us of this fact with the release of its latest AdMob Metrics Report, which gives an overview of which are currently the most-used phones for getting Internet access. They also report on where geographically mobile users are using Wi-Fi to get online.

Before we delve into the numbers, it is important to note that the data here is represented by metrics pulled from ads served by AdMob to more than 6,000 global sites belonging to its clients. While this acts as reasonable representative sample, it cannot necessarily be used to assume global Internet usage trends. AdMob-served ads don't reach every corner of the globe, don't reside on every site, and not everyone even gets served the ads (depending on the client device and software). So take this data with a grain of salt.

 Click the above image to see more relevant data
(Credit: AdMob)

AdMob estimates that 33.5-percent of global mobile phone-based Internet traffic comes from phones that can be classified as smartphones. Of these smartphones, devices from Nokia make up 43-percent, and phones from Apple make up 32-percent of the total traffic. As for all mobile phones that access the Internet globally--not just smartphones--Nokia is still the most popular manufacturer, with Nokia handsets generating 30.1-percent of requests; Apple comes in second again, with 18.3-percent of traffic for all mobile phones. However, when Internet requests are broken down to individual handset models, the Apple iPhone rises to the top as the most popular phone, with a total of 11-percent of all global, mobile phone-based, Internet requests. Just to show how ubiquitous Apple is becoming, the second-most popular device is the iPod touch, at 7.4-percent, which isn't even a phone.

 Click the above image to see more relevant data

(Credit: AdMob)
Focusing exclusively on the U.S., Apple leads across all categories. The iPhone represents 16.8-percent of U.S. Internet requests from all mobile phones. The iPod touch (yes, we know it's not actually a phone) comes in second with 12.3-percent of requests. Combined, these two Apple devices generate 39.1-percent of all Internet requests for mobile phones in the U.S. The next-most-popular phone is the Motorola RAZR V3, with 5.9-percent. AT&T Wireless--the only U.S. carrier that is licensed to use iPhones on its network--has more than half of its Internet U.S. Internet requests from mobile phones coming from Apple devices (presumably, almost of all of which is from iPhones).

The mention of the iPod touch also serves as a reminder that mobile phones are not the only mobile devices accessing the Internet. Many mobile devices, such as laptops, MIDs, some location devices, and even niche devices like the Eye-Fi are utilizing Wi-Fi signals from hotspots and other Wi-Fi signal providers. In fact, AdMob reports that "8% of total US requests are generated over WiFi." As to which market-area has the greatest number of mobile users accessing the Internet via Wi-Fi, New York City comes out on top with 12.3-percent of the generated traffic. Los Angels comes in second with 9.6-percent, and the Washington-Baltimore area comes in third with 4.0-percent, and San Francisco is fourth with 3.9-percent. From a statewide view, however, California has more Wi-Fi users than any other U.S. state, with 18-percent of the Wi-Fi traffic. New York state comes in second with 14-percent.

If we crunch all of these numbers together, we come to the very unscientific conclusion that more iPhone users live in Los Angeles than anywhere else. Based on the number of Hollywood TVs shows and movies that incorporate iPhones into their stories, we might not be too far from the truth.

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