iPhone Finally Beats Nokia for Mobile Internet Usage

Apple's iPhone beat out Nokia's phone lineup in January to become the most used mobile device for Internet activity. Data from the Web analytics company StatCounter showed January to be a month of firsts: Nokia's first to drop out of the top spot, and Apple's first for the iPhone to make up the majority of online mobile activity.

January's online iPhone activity is on the rise, but down overall compared to a year ago. In January 2012, the iPhone made up 28.67 percent of online traffic, while this year it was down slightly to 25.86 percent. Nokia, however, dropped more than 15 percent from 37.67 percent down to 22.15 percent.

"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."

Nokia gave up more than just the top position in January and dropped down to the number three slot. Samsung showed a slightly higher activity percentage at 22.69 percent, giving it less than a single percentage point lead over Nokia.

Nokia's mobile activity dominance in 2012...Nokia's mobile activity dominance in 2012...

Apple's lead could potentially be much wider since StatCounter's data doesn't include iPads. Limiting the report to just smartphones cuts out a significant number of iOS devices which so far have proven to be far more popular than Android-based competitors, although including tablets would likely push up Samsung's numbers, too.

... dropped dramatically in 2013... dropped dramatically in 2013

While Apple does now hold the top spot for mobile Internet activity, it's percentage has been generally trending down over the past year while Samsung has been steadily climbing. With the smartphone market still growing overall, companies can see strong sales while still losing marketshare, and that may be exactly what's happening now.

For Apple the news is mostly good, while for Nokia it looks like a bad sign -- and even though the iPhone was the top smartphone in the January StatCounter study, it's Samsung that looks like the big winner.