Providing ads to mobile web sites gives you loads of data about mobile web browsers. Intelligent companies like AdMob make parts of this data available to the press to gain free PR (here you go) by helping the press do its job.
Anyways, this month’s “Mobile Metrics Report” was especially interesting, as it looked at worldwide browser market shares for mobile web browsers. The chart below is from the report linked above:
Classic smartphone web browsers surprisingly make up a minuscule of requests: Palm’s Blazer and Apple’s mobile Safari (which is a much better browser) both have 2% market share, Microsoft’s Pocket Internet Explorer and RIM’s browser both don’t exceed the 4% mark.
Nokia’s browsers (S40 and S60) and OpenWave (a classic dumbphone browser) both have about 30% of the market each, with Access’s Netfront (deployed on smartphones and embedded) coming in as a distant third with 12%. Amusingly, Sony’s CLIE handhelds make up for 4% of these 12%, which gives them a total market share of about 0.5%.
The real lesson which can be learned here is that smartphones and their users are an almost-ignorable minority when it comes to mobile web usage. We may be the most vocal bunch, but our numbers diminish compared to the millions of “dumbphone” users populating the mobile internet (and likely having a data contract). As each and every phone that has a web browser also is Java capable nowadays, the implications that this has on the size of the J2ME market are obvious: it is huge.
What do you think?
A big thank-you goes out to AdMob for providing the data!