New figures from research firm StatCounter show that the number of people using the iPhone's browser have overtaken the number using the Opera equivalent in the last week.
According to figures released today by the firm, in the past seven days the Apple iPhone crept up to a 24 per cent chunk of the global mobile browsing market, while Opera, its closest rival, fell to 22 per cent. The table is tightly grouped, however, and snapping at Opera's heels are Nokia, with 18 per cent, and Apple again with its iPod Touch, which claims 14 per cent of the market.
"We are talking about nothing less than a global phenomenon here," commented Aodhan Cullen, chief executive and founder at StatCounter. "Apple through the iPhone and iPod Touch is making mobile internet browsing accessible to the masses. Globally iPhone has been consistently ahead of Opera since mid-february. "
In the UK, the gap is even wider, with the iPhone and iPod Touch clear leaders of the pack. The iPhone and iPod Touch claim a 31 per cent and 20 per cent share respectively, while Opera, which is beaten still by Nokia and Blackberry in the UK rankings, manages just a 7.5 per cent share.
StatCounter also announced figures for the most popular mobile operating systems, and regular browsers being used. The mobile OS with the largest market share is Symbian, which is on almost 39 per cent of user handhelds, while the iPhone browser is used by just under 36 per cent.
In the browser market Internet Explorer dominates, with a 66.7 per cent share, while Firefox follows up with just over 26 per cent. Opera has only managed to secure 2.8 per cent of the market, just narrowly beating Safari at 2.6 per cent. The recently launched Google Chrome browser has already secured 1.14 per cent of internet users according to the firm.
StatCounter's data is based on analysis of four billion pageloads per month.
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