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Bolivians still grimly browsing on Sony Ericsson phones

Worldwide figures reveal crazy foreigners' mobe antics

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Canadians are in love with iOS devices, while Symbian stomps the opposition in Chad, and British affections are torn equally between Apple and RIM when it comes to smartphone platforms.

The figures come from StatCounter, and are based on browsing habits rather than ownership - there are an awful lot of Symbian handsets that have never seen the worldwide web - but Pingdom has picked up the figures and created country-specific breakdowns, providing some insight into regional variations, and a media-friendly graphic to go with them:

Map showing iOS and Symbian use

That view is very simplistic. As Pingdom is keen to point out, in many countries neither Symbian nor iOS has much of a presence: Samsung's presence in North Korea pushes Android to account for almost 80 per cent of all mobile browsing there, while in the next-most-Android-friendly country (Austria) Google's platform is only used for just over 25 per cent of mobile web access.

What's more interesting is that America isn't as iOS-obsessed as it often appears - despite being the dominant platform in the country iOS still only accounts for 35 per cent of use, with BlackBerry close behind. That's in contrast with Canada or Australia, where the vast majority (84 and 72 per cent respectively) of mobile browsing is done on an iPhone - iPad stats aren't included.

Even Europe is more polarised than North America, with iOS streets ahead of the nearest rival (BlackBerry again).

But the most polarised markets are Africa, Asia and South America, where Symbian completely dominates mobile web use. Symbian handsets are a good deal cheaper, partly thanks to having been around for so much longer, and partly because that's where Nokia sees Symbian's future - providing smartphone functionality at a lower price, and in countries where price is the most significant barrier to adoption.

Worldwide Symbian continues to dominate, with iOS, BlackBerry, Android following in that order. But in Boliva, Sony Ericsson's proprietary OS remains the platform of choice. ®

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