Internet access via phones has exploded in the past few years, moving from a niche market to a common and popular method of access. It has therefore become an increasingly important concern to the developers of smartphones and the software that runs on them. But when it comes to mobile browsing, who is winning? It depends on your frame of reference, but as it stands, the two newest comers to the smartphone world are looking very bright.

Google’s Android has seen a huge boost in percentage gain recently, growing an average of 47% since its retail introduction. When compared to the overall market, however, Android still has a mere 6% – not bad for a newcomer but nothing compared to the current king. The lion's share goes Apple, with roughly 36% of the global mobile web browsing market and almost 50% in the U.S. alone. Compared to Rim's 22% and Microsoft's 11%, it sends a very clear message: Mobile web browsing and the iPhone go hand in hand.

Apple's competitors, however, have the talent and capital to compete. Microsoft is just a few days away from launching Windows Mobile 6.5, which has a lot of focus on web connectivity, while RIM has been trying to innovate with its Bold and Storm devices. Opera has also seen its share of success in this segment, and is currently looking to further it by working on a version of its mobile browser that will run on Google's Android. As for Firefox, they may a little late to the party, but if its growing presence in the desktop is of any indication, their upcoming Fennec browser should not be underestimated.