Apple’s iPhone has sparked interest and use of web browsing using smartphones, particularly in the US, where such use has climbed 89 per cent.

Smartphone users (and let’s face it, mobile web usage is  most prevalent among iPhone users) are running to social networking and e-commerce sites, spending an average of four hours and thirty-eight minutes online using their phone every month (in the US) and two and a half hours per month in the UK, research claims.

Recall that January survey of more than 10,000 adults, which revealed 84.8 per cent of iPhone users access news and information from their device? That compares to 13.1 per cent of the overall mobile phone market and 58.2 per cent of total smartphone owners…

The modern day digital obsession, Facebook, is the most visited website from a mobile the UK, while in the US, Craigslist, eBay and MySpace trump that social networking service. UK users explore the 3 portal, Sky TV and the BBC.

All these claims are included within the latest research from M:Metrics, where senior analyst Mark Donovan notes: "People are becoming increasingly engaged in the mobile medium.” Revealing the rate of mobile browsing to have increased 89 per cent year-on-year and page views have climbed 127 per cent, he notes changing consumption patterns.

“It’s evolving from brief transactions such as checking the weather or flight times, to time-intensive interaction with mobile websites – even without an iPhone,” the analyst said.

All these figures make interesting reading, but the killer punch is at the end, where M:Metrics reveals the data to be derived from “actual user behaviors among those with Windows, Symbian and Palm handsets.”

This begs the question: with users of smartphones from those manufacturers becoming increasingly interested in mobile web browsing, just how much pent-up demand will Apple face when it releases it’s next-generation iPhone next month? And with Blackberry recently beginning TV ad campaigns in the UK, are both firms set to profit from the mobile multimedia explosion? 


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