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Monday, December 03, 2007, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

iPhone leads in web stats; Brazil Apple stores; more

Apple's first cellphone may already be eclipsing Windows Mobile for web viewer share while the Mac is setting its own record high, according to November web statistics. Also, Apple is said to be opening its first official retail outlets in Brazil.

iPhone, Mac claim success in November web stats

Though the share is miniscule compared to that for desktop browsers, the number of users visiting Net Application's 40,000 partner sites using the months-old iPhone is 50 percent larger than for all Windows Mobile versions, cresting at 0.09 percent for the Apple mobile OS versus 0.06 percent for its Microsoft counterpart.

Net Applications stops short of committing to an explanation for the statistic but suggests that a better user interface for web browsing and a larger, more web-friendly screen may play a part in the rapid rise of the iPhone.

At the same time, the company also points to significant growth in Mac marketshare, noting that the combined Intel and PowerPC Mac user base has grown to 6.8 percent — an all-time high for Apple, which had accounted for 5.4 percent in the same period last year and 6.6 percent in October.

The Safari web browser has also reached a new high of its own at a more gradual pace, reaching 5.14 percent of total visitor share.

Report: Apple to open first official Brazil stores in six months

Apple's first self-run stores in South America will be in place by the end of March 2008, says a Valor Econômico interview with the head of the Iguatemi Shopping Centers group, Carlos Jereissati Filho.

The retailing chief claims that two stores will open in the key city of Sao Paulo, beginning with an initial store this month in the Pinheiros district followed by a second store in the Morumbi area by March.

Apple has recently ramped up its efforts in the country, establishing a plan in late November to implement its store-within-a-store concept across 16 third-party stores by the end of 2008.

Both Apple Brazil and the IESC have declined comment.

Jobs to appear in Disney theme park ride minus Woz?

A rumor is circulating that an upgrade to Walt Disney World's Spaceship Earth ride in the Epcot Center will feature an animatronic display that bears an uncanny resemblance to a young version of Apple chief executive Steve Jobs — who also sits on Disney's board of directors.

The ride segment will purportedly feature a young, bearded man resembling Jobs that works on an early computer in a garage, not unlike the environment shared by Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak while they created the Apple I.

Only one person is said to be on display in the scene, though whether Jobs will be easily identifiable by name is unclear. Historically, Wozniak is responsible for much of the actual design while Jobs ran the more business-oriented aspects of the early Cupertino, California-based company.

The ride, which is officially due to launch in February but may have an informal launch in the next few days, according to the rumor. Apple has not commented on the claim.