The iPhone 4S significantly boosted the fortunes for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as its stock is now hovering at an all time high price of $495 while it was around $400 in October last year when iPhone 4S was launched. Not only has the iPhone 4S helped Apple become the number one global smartphone player, but it also narrowed the gap with Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system in the U.S. in the last quarter. Now according to a report, Apple has market share of 59% in the mobile web browsing usage in North America. Globally, Apple has a market share of 30% with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) leading this market with 40% market share. 
Our $550 price estimate for Apple’s stock is about 20% above the current market price.
Mobile usage directly depends on smartphone popularity
Apple’s massive share in mobile web usage in the U.S. is a direct result of iPhone’s popularity in the country. According to one report, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS took the top three spots in the U.S. smartphone market last quarter, and iOS, with a market share of 43%, narrowed the gap with Android at 48% in the smartphone operating system market. 
Even globally, Apple is now the leading smartphone player. It recently overtook Samsung to gain number one spot with a market share of 24% in Q4 2011.  According to the StatCounter study, Nokia is still the leading player in the global mobile web usage.  Although Nokia is no longer a potent player in the smartphone market, it still leads the overall mobile phone market due to its large presence in the emerging markets like India. One can use web on a featured phone or non-smartphones as well, which is why Nokia’s share in mobile web usage is higher than Apple.Notes:
- StatCounter: Nokia leads the way in mobile web usage, BGR quoting StatCounter as the source, February 8th, 2012 [↩] [↩]
- The NPD Group: Apple Leads Mobile Handsets in Q4 2011, but Android Attracts More First-Time Smartphone Buyers, February 6th, 2012 [↩]
- Apple Becomes World’s Largest Smartphone Vendor in Q4 2011, Strategy Analytics, January 26th, 2012 [↩]