BlackBerry OS knocks Apple iOS down a notch

Apple's iPhone and Google's Android might seem to have all the momentum these days, but RIM's BlackBerry OS is the surprise winner in StatCounter's latest U.S. mobile OS Internet usage numbers.

The BlackBerry OS grabbed a 34.4 per cent share, overtaking Apple at 33 per cent in November, according to the Web analytics company's research arm. Apple's share was nearly 52 per cent a year ago.

"These figures suggest that developers should not be developing solely for the iPhone to the exclusion of BlackBerry and Android," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, in a statement.

Also read: Employees armed with Facebook, smartphones among biggest company boosters

BlackBerry's latest big product introduction was its Torch smartphone, which was one of the most searched on shopping terms of 2010, according to AOL.

Meanwhile, according to StatCounter, Google's Android's share of the U.S. market rose to nearly 24 per cent, triple what it was a year ago.

Gains for Google Android have been a recurring finding by industry watchers this year. For example, recent research from NPD and Canalys showing Android demand on the rise, largely at the expense of RIM.  Comparing these researchers' findings (as well as ChangeWave's) isn't quite apples to apples, however, since some are measuring smartphone purchases and planned purchases vs. StatCounter's numbers on actual usage.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 failed to register on StatCounter's survey, though that's not surprising since WP7 only became available in November.

"You can never underestimate Microsoft but it looks to have its work cut out," said Cullen.

Worldwide, the Symbion OS has the top share at about 32 per cent, followed by iOS at about 22 per cent, BlackBerry OS at 19.3 per cent and Android at 11.6 per cent.

StatCounter Global Stats are based on data from a sample of more than 15 billion page views per month collected from across its 3 million website-strong network.

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Bob Brown

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