Opera overtook Apple's mobile Safari as the most popular browser for a phone in May, according to Informationweek.
Opera captured 24.6% of all Internet pages that were downloaded to a mobile device, and the iPhone had 22.3%. Opera has the advantage of being able to have its mobile browsers loaded on a plethora of cell phones and smartphones, while the mobile Safari browser is only on Apple's mobile products. Additionally, Opera's mobile browsers use server-side compression to make it easier for less-sophisticated handsets to get full access to the Web on the go.
The iPhone's browser is widely considered the best-in-class mobile browsing experience, as it incorporates multitouch technology for zooming and panning. One weakness to the browser is the inability to play Adobe Flash videos, which are prevalent on sites like YouTube and Hulu. Apple and Adobe likely won't work out a deal to bring Flash to the iPhone, but the upcoming 3.0 software should enable Web video through HTML 5.
Nokia was in third place with nearly 18% of the market, and its WebKit-based browser is capable of playing Flash. As mobile Web usage continues to grow, the browser is becoming an important part of the experience and multiple companies are trying to capitalize on that market. Mozilla is bringing a version of its Firefox browser to cell phones, and its Fennec browser is slated to be released by the end of the year.