Though Apple's iPhone still rules the mobile browsing game, it looks like Google's Android OS—spread over numerous devices now—is beginning to catch up. Admob's stats show its actually overtaken RIM to steal second place.
Back in March AdMob's statistics showed quite how dominant the iPhone was, with 50% of the U.S. smartphone OS market—RIM's BlackBerrys came next at 21% share, and Android lagged in fifth place behind both Palm and Windows Mobile with just 5% share. Now, all of that has changed.
Apple's actually consolidated its position with another 5% of the market. But RIM's share has dropped to just 12%—despite the arrival of sophisticated iPhone competitor BlackBerrys like the Storm. And Android has stormed to 20% of mobile browsing requests passing through AdMob's servers (the metric the company uses to calculate these statistics.) The HTC Dream is the most popular Android handset, it seems, but among the numbers it's the Motorola Droid that's the real surprise—it's so freshly available, but AdMob's November statistics show it's responsible or 24% of Android's mobile browsing figure.
Will Android's growth continue? Its strong performance this far suggests it might gain market share as the public buys more and more Android phones, and the ones that arrive are better designed—continuing the trend Droid seems to have begun. If the rumors of the Googlephone prove true, it's certain Android will gain more traction. Whether or not it'll challenge the iPhone depends on how popular the iPhone remains in its current incarnation, whether Apple allows more carriers in each nation to sell them, and how popular the upcoming fourth-gen device is. Its hard to see Android toppling it from its perch any time soon.