Here’s some interesting stats that once again show mobile still to be very much an open game, there for the taking: turns out that in the month of November, BlackBerry overtook Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and its iOS in mobile internet usage in the U.S. But StatCounter, the researchers who compiled the numbers, said that those rankings didn’t bear out worldwide, where Symbian kept a comfortable lead in front of the competition.
Overall in the U.S., StatCounter says that BlackBerry OS accounted for 34.3 percent of all visits, compared to Apple’s iOS at 33 percent in November. It says Google’s Android is “rapidly gaining and has almost tripled internet marketshare” from 8.2 percent last November to 23.8 percent this year.
Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS fell precipitously over the year, from 51.9 percent to 33 percent over the same period. StatCounter says that it collects data based on some 15 billion page views a month.
The picture worldwide is different, but again underscores a different story from the one you would believe if you just based your assessments on hype: the much-snubbed Symbian OS is in a comfortable lead with 31.9 percent of all visits. Apple’s iOS is at 21.9 percent; BlackBerry OS is at 19.3 percent; and Android trails quite a bit at 11.6 percent.
So what exactly do these numbers mean?
It could be that the reason for iPhone’s lower data usage is because more people access content on those devices via apps, and actually pick up the data to populate those apps via their WiFi connections rather than continuous connections to the mobile web.
It could also be that BlackBerry is providing a better user experience for people who do want to browse online. This would underscore the many pronouncements we’ve seen from RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) about how the future is not in apps, but in mobile web.
The Symbian story is an interesting one, too: it implies that in those markets where Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has held its market share, they are doing a good job of encouraging people to use those devices to do more than make phone calls and text.
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Windows 7, says StatCounter, has not yet made a dent on the rankings, but it expects that to change in the months ahead.