Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone is currently the biggest of big deals. The No. 1 phone, right? Think again. Know which well-known phone outsells the iPhone in the U.S.? I'll give you a big hint: This "other" phone has been around for some time, and more people use it to access the mobile Web than any other handset around. Give up? Say hello again to Motorola's ( MOT) Razr phone. According to Information Week magazine and online rating company AdMob, the venerable Razr handset is still king.
For the past year, AdMob has been compiling a monthly report that keeps track of ad impressions, tallying each time a cell phone downloads an advertisement to its screen. The company does this for more than 5,000 Web sites that it monitors and can tell which cell phones are being used, and how often they're being used, to surf the Web. In the most recent report, AdMob rates cell-phone browsing, and the iPhone doesn't even make the top six. Morotola's RazrV3, Krzr KC1, W386 and Z6m, along with Research in Motion's ( RIMM) Blackberry Pearl and Palm's ( PALM) Centro all beat out the iPhone when it comes to the number of ads requested and viewed on the mobile Web. In terms of hard numbers, the Razr weighs in at 8.7% of the mobile ad traffic, while the iPhone lags behind with only 3.2%. Actually, those are pretty amazing numbers when you consider that the iPhone provides a much better Web browsing experience than the Razr. The answer probably has something to do with the fact that the Razr had a few years' head start, meaning a lot more Razrs are in service than iPhones. That could explain why more people are surfing the Web with somewhat ancient WAP technologies rather than with the iPhone's superior HTML browser. I expect that as more and more people embrace the iPhone, Google's ( GOOG) Android system (found on the G-1 from Deutsche Telekom's ( DT) T-Mobile unit), Microsoft's ( MSFT) Windows Mobile and Nokia's ( NOK) Symbian OS devices, those numbers should swing in the other direction.