iPhone has strong early showing in browser share

Despite being on the market for only five months, the iPhone already has nearly a 0.1 percent share of the global browsing market, according to research firm NetApplications.

While it may seem extraordinarily small, with respect to mobile devices, the data -- released this week by research firm NetApplications -- is actually quite significant. Windows CE, which has been on the market for ten years, has only a 0.06% share, while Hiptop, the makers of the Sidekick, only counts for a 0.02% share.

At 0.09%, the iPhone now stands as the tenth most used platform on the Web, only eclipsed by desktop platforms. It is not far behind Windows 98, NT, Linux, or ME, which comprise 0.76%, 0.63%, 0.57%, and 0.43%, respectively, of all Web visits.

Sitting tall and proud atop the catbird's seat is Windows XP, which claims 78.37% of all Web traffic in the NetApplications report. Windows Vista has climbed to second place, with 9.19%.

Much of the iPhone's recent success may have a lot to do with the mobile version of Safari -- specifically, it's ability to display Web pages closer to the way they look on the desktop than any other mobile browser currently available.

It is now no longer out of the question that the iPhone could be challenging desktop systems for Web market share by this time next year.

Apple's good fortunes extend to its Mac platform, which garnered a combined share of 6.81% as of November between PowerPC- and Intel-based systems in the NetApplications report. While PowerPC's market share has decreased from 4.34% in January to 3.22% now, Intel Macs are picking up the slack and then some, moving up from 1.88% to 3.59% in the same period.

Overall, Macs have gained about 0.6% share during the year on the Web, according to NetApplications statistics.

The iPhone has not yet cracked the #10 slot, however, in the W3Counter Top 10 usage share list compiled by analytics software firm Awio Web Services.

The #1 slot on the W3Counter list is held (perhaps "cemented" is the more fitting word) by Windows XP, with 80.62% of Web traffic. Vista comes in second with 4.74%, and Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs collectively provide 4.59% of traffic there.

Elsewhere in NetApplications' report, the firm also measured statistics for browser usage. It found that Internet Explorer usage share dropped nearly one percentage point to 77.35% in November, and is down nearly 3% on the year.

Meanwhile, Firefox gained just over one percent, to just over 16% market share, up a little over 2% on the year. Safari use was up slightly to 5.14%, and Opera and Netscape rounded out the top five with 0.65% and 0.60%, respectively.

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