Google data further legitimizes web browsing on mobile phones

Remember when your cellphone had a monochrome, single-line display that could only display numbers? Those days are far behind us according to Google. The company is seeing an acceleration of Internet usage on mobile devices, Reuters is reporting.

Google has made a concerted effort to make Internet applications that perform well on certain popular phones. These include RIM’s Blackberry, Nokia’s newer phones and of course the Apple iPhone. Google claims to have sped up the time it takes to do a web search on a mobile device by as much as 40 percent thanks to simple, logical shortcuts on a phone’s main screen. This in turn has led to a 20 percent increase in the number of searches people are performing on their phones.

This data follows a report by M:Metrics yesterday that suggests 84.8 percent of iPhone owners use the device to browse the web (our coverage). In that same report are numbers suggesting that nearly 60 percent of iPhone users use the device to regularly search the web. Since Google is the default search engine for Safari on the iPhone (you can change it to Yahoo in the Settings area) and now other phones as well, it’s no wonder Google is seeing a rise in usage.

Search is not the only area in which Google is seeing a bump in usage. The company’s mobile version of Gmail has also been gaining traction. There’s a very good reason for this as well – they’ve been able to significantly increase the speed of the mobile version, as the company explains on the Official Google Mobile Blog.

Google’s upcoming Android mobile platform as well as the iPhone SDK (software development kit) should only further the rise of the mobile Internet.

[photo: flickr/hillary h]


VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Chime in, and we’ll share the data.