Worldwide, people now use Samsung's smartphones more often than Apple's to surf the Web, according to a study released Wednesday.
In January 2013, Apple iPhones and iPod Touches surpassed Nokia phones to account for the most Web pages viewed on the Internet, according to a report (PDF) from StatCounter, which monitors Web usage across a network of 3 million Web sites. But in June, Samsung devices passed Apple's for the global lead.
But not by much. Samsung's devices accounted for 25.5 percent of page views to 25.1 percent for Apple and 22 percent for Nokia in June. Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices are a distant fourth place at 3.6 percent.
Samsung is closely allied with Google for use of the Net giant's Android operating system, but Samsung also is developing a rival mobile OS called Tizen.
For mobile browsing in the United States, Apple's devices are far and away the leader, growing from 50.4 percent of usage in July 2012 to 54.8 percent in June 2013. Over that period, Samsung devices rose from 12.7 percent to 18.3 percent.
StatCounter tallies every page view -- 17.5 billion in June -- though it screens out "prerendered" page views, which are pages a browser loads invisibly in anticipation that a person might want to see them.
StatCounter doesn't include tablets in its mobile rankings.
"We define a mobile device as a pocket-sized computing device, typically having a display screen with touch input or a miniature keyboard. Tablets, while portable, are not considered mobile devices according to this definition," the company said.
Although many choose to put iPads and other tablets in the mobile category, StatCounter's assessment does agree with Microsoft's approach that considers tablets to be merely the latest variety of a personal computer.
StatCounter said 83.9 percent of usage is currently from non-mobile devices. On those machines, Windows 7 is the top operating system at 52.6 percent. Windows XP is declining but stayed in second place at 21.1 percent. Windows 8 rose to 5.9 percent to pass Windows Vista at 5.4 percent. Apple's OS X was at 7.4 percent, while iOS running on iPads was at 4.2 percent.
Regarding the actual browsers used on mobile devices, StatCounter gave first place to the unbranded Android browser at 29.1 percent of usage worldwide. Second place went to Apple's Safari at 25.0 percent. Chrome for mobile devices, available only on devices running Android 4.0 or later, is growing and has reached 3.2 percent, StatCounter said.