Google sees post-Christmas surge in Apple iPhone traffic

“Of all the iPhone’s features, none had reviewers gushing more than its Internet browser. It was the first cellphone browser that promised something resembling the experience of surfing the Internet on a PC. Santa helped deliver on that promise,” Miguel Helft reports for The New York Times.

“On Christmas, traffic to Google from iPhones surged, surpassing incoming traffic from any other type of mobile device, according to internal Google data made available to The New York Times. A few days later, iPhone traffic to Google fell below that of devices powered by the Nokia-backed Symbian operating system but remained higher than traffic from any other type of cellphone,” Helft reports.

“The data is striking because the iPhone, an Apple product, accounts for just 2 percent of smartphones worldwide, according to IDC, a market research firm. Phones powered by Symbian make up 63 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, while those powered by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile have 11 percent and those running the BlackBerry system have 10 percent,” Helft reports.

MacDailyNews Take: The data is probably “striking” because you’re looking at IDC data that’s lagging by a quarter or two or more. How about telling us from what period of time this “striking” IDC data came, Mr. Helft? It might be somewhat “striking” if it came from Christmas Day plus a few days later and showed something totally different than what Google’s shows, but, as we understand how IDC works, we can pretty much guarantee that it didn’t. Obviously, comparing IDC data from 3rd quarter 2007 or whenever to Google’s post-Christmas online usage would be “striking.” Strikingly meaningless, that is. Especially since IDC and Google are measuring different things! Poor reporting.

Helft continues, “The iPhone has taken the frustration out of browsing on a mobile phone, said Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Company… Other companies confirmed the trends, if not the specific data, observed by Google. Yahoo, for instance, said iPhones accounted for a disproportionate amount of its mobile traffic. And AdMob, a firm that shows billions of ads on mobile Web sites every month, said it saw traffic from iPhones surge drastically around Christmas.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Too bad iPhone can’t take the frustration out of reading poor reporting. If you’re going to quote IDC data, then tell us when it was measured and what it is measuring. You might also want to tell us that IDC measures unit sales in select retail channels and Google is measuring online browsers hitting their sites which are very different measures that are very difficult, if not impossible, to meaningfully compare and contrast. That’s all we ask. You’d think that the NY Times, at least, would be able to deliver it. Because Helft can’t seem to clearly explain the salient point, we’ll state it here: the point is that people with iPhones actually use them to browse the Web because, unlike other so-called “smartphones,” iPhone is actually usable for browsing the Web. There are many times more non-iPhones that are supposedly capable of browsing the Web in some fashion, but people aren’t using them (because they – to use the technical term – suck). The amount that people use their iPhones online compared to other so-called “Web-capable” devices that vastly outnumber iPhones is what’s “striking.”


  1. Of course our buddy Zoony will tell is it is because the iPhone is a “consumer” device, and his beloved WinCE devices are real “business” devices, and that even the hardest charging businessman has to take a few days offline to spend with family, and that we should wait for January statistics, to show how many WinCE devices are being used once everyone goes back to work in the new year.

    Zoony is, at times, too predictable.

  2. @qka

    You couldn’t be more wrong. If you use any variant of Windows then you are, by default, a ‘hard charging businessman’. Unlike the MAC sheep who play with their toy computers and blow their minds out with that rock music on an I-POD Windows users were checking their e-mail right after opening presents on Christmas day. Because we can connect to Exchange servers which never take a brake. Hey MAC lemmings, lazy, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. Zoony is satire, unless you haven’t figured that out by now.

    I figured that out long before registered users, when there were multiple ZTs. I was just trying to steal a little of his thunder.

    “Zune Tang® ” is the original. It’s just that he tries real hard to be funny, but often fails. Kind of like David Letterman.

    (holy flame war ensues now.)

  4. Zune Tang is definitely not so much fun these days, but are we right to boot him/her/it?

    I think not — MDN needs a voice from the Dark Side, even if it’s only gold ol’ ZT.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Actually I think we should be rating Zune Tang’s performance on a daily basis. If he’s going to do his act here he should ad least be challenged to make is content more compelling.

    What do you all think?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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