Apple overtakes Nokia in global mobile web usage for first time

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According to new statistics released on Monday, Apple's share of global mobile internet usage surpassed that of Nokia's in the fourth quarter of 2012, making the Cupertino company the number one mobile web presence in the world.

The findings come from Web analytics firm StatCounter, which saw Apple dethrone Nokia in January for the first time ever as the once-dominant vendor's marketshare dropped over 15 percent year-over-year. It should be noted that tablet computers like the iPad were not counted in the study, though Apple's iPod touch and other portable devices were included.

While a majority of top ten vendors saw declines over 2012, including Apple's net loss from 28.67 percent to 25.86 percent at the end of last month, Nokia suffered the greatest drop-off, slipping from 37.67 percent of the market to 22.15 percent. Of the top three vendors, Samsung showed the only 12-month gain, rising from 14.84 percent to 22.69 percent over the same period. The performance was enough to see the Korean company squeeze past Nokia to retain the number two spot overall.

“It’s good and bad news for Apple,” said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. “Apple has been handed the number one spot despite its falling usage share. A decline in Nokia usage from January 2012 to January 2013 means the Finnish company ceded the top spot to Apple. Samsung, in contrast to Apple, has seen an increase in its usage share since January 2012.”

The analytics company's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats, compiled the data based on over 15 billion page views per month to the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.

It was reported at the end of January that Apple's iPhone accounted for 25.1 percent of all smartphones worldwide as shipments rose 46.9 percent to 136.8 million units in 2012, up from 93.1 million in 2011.