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IPhones Continue to Drive Mobile Web Growth

By: 2 March 2009

Much of the mobile local search opportunity discussed in our recent forecast is tied to the growth of the mobile Web. Currently about 20 percent of mobile subscribers in the U.S. use the mobile Web, and it’s trending upward with growing penetration of devices with full Web browsers.

Though it only has a low single-digit share of the mobile device market in the U.S., the iPhone is seeing the lion’s share of this data usage. Specifically, Net Applications reports that the iPhone gets 67 percent of mobile Web traffic. That’s 9x the closest competitor, Windows Mobile.

This is partly because of the capabilities of the device and partly because of the profile and consumption behavior of the average iPhone user. On the first point, continued iPhone penetration will bode well for the expected growth of mobile Web use.

This will come from not only iPhone direct market penetration but also the influence it’s had in the marketplace, with both setting user expectations and driving copycat devices that will continue to flood the market and drive prices down.

In terms of unit sales, the iPhone currently owns a 30 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market.

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