Accessing Internet by mobile device doubled in 2011

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Over the past 12 months, mobile access to the Internet around the world nearly doubled to 8.5 per cent, not counting tablets, according to data released this week by StatCounter, a Web analytics company.
The vast majority of Internet usage is still tied to desktop PCs, the data shows. Yet in the fast-growing mobile space, the name that dominates the PC world, Microsoft Corp., is invisible. Nokia remains the leading mobile vendor worldwide, but the Web page-view numbers show a company in decline over the past year, as is Research in Motion, when compared to Apple Inc. The growing mobile operating systems are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
In the U.S. market, the dominance of iOS and Android is much more pronounced compared to all other rivals.
StatCounter’s figures are based on aggregate data it collects from a sample of more than 15 billion page views monthly on its network of over 3 million websites. The page views are dissected based on the requesting device’s OS, mobile browser, and brand, among other variables. The complete report, in the form of interactive line or bar charts, which also covers desktop browsing data, is available online.
Internet access through mobile devices, except for laptops, jumped from 4.3 per cent in January 2011 to 8.5 per cent last month. In January 2010, the share was just 1.7 per cent.
Globally, the Symbian OS still dominates in the StatCounter sample: devices running this OS accounted for 32 per cent of StatCounter page views, but it’s trending downward. iOS accounted for 24 per cent, with Android just below that; both are trending upward. BlackBerry OS plunged, from 15 per cent a year ago to just under 8 per cent last month.
In the U.S., iOS devices (again, not counting iPads) accounted for 45 per cent of the page views; Android accounted for 39 per cent. BlackBerry OS declined from 26 per cent to 8 per cent during the 12-month period. Symbian, never strong in this market, ended at about 4 per cent.
Mobile browser user reflects the platforms they are associated with. Opera, with just under 24 per cent of the page views globally remained the leader, but trending down. The Android browser was just ahead of Apple’s Safari at 20 per cent, with both trending upward. Nokia’s browser accounted for about 12 per cent of page views, BlackBerry browser about 7 per cent, both of them trending downward.
In North America, the top browser was Android, with 37 per cent share of the views. Safari on the iPhone was just behind at about 34 per cent. But Safari on the iPod touch, accounted for about another 10 per cent. Blackberry browser shrank to about 7.5 per cent and Nokia ended the year at about 2 per cent of the North American page view share.
Looking at the global page view numbers in terms of the device vendors, Nokia-branded devices hovered around 40 per cent of the total, ending the year at 38 per cent; Apple ended with about 29 per cent, but again was trending upward. RIM again showed its decline: dropping from 18 per cent to about 9 per cent. Samsung rose during the year from about 7 per cent to 15 per cent, most of that presumably from its Android-based product line though it does offer mobile devices running its own Bada operating systems or Microsoft Windows Phone.
In North America, Apple held nearly two-thirds of the share, rising from 47.5 per cent to nearly 60 per cent last month. RIM’s share dropped from 34 per cent to 11 per cent in the same period. Samsung doubled its share from about 6 per cent to 12 per cent. Nokia ended the year where it began: around 6 per cent, a tie with HTC.
StatCounter has also announced that new stats regarding mobile vendors are now available on its Global Stats website. The firm has been compiling and refining these stats for some time and has now made the beta project public. Based on initial research covering all traffic to the StatCounter network, Nokia leads worldwide, most probably driven by its dominance in India. Apple is second globally but leads the U.S. and U.K. markets. In the U.K. RIM is second only to Apple.
(From Network World U.S.)