Mike over at Phone different link-baited called me out with this little nugget-o-news, Net Applications appears to show that the iPhone's browser is popping up on the web more often than Windows Mobile devices:

The iPhone came in at #10 with 0.09%, whereas Windows CE weighed in at 0.06% for #11. You read that, Dieter? We're #10! We're #10!

Read: iPhone Web Stats - Phone different

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics, we say! Read on to find out why.

Even if we grant that HitsLink uses reliable methodology (“data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers”), part of the problem is a bunch of WM browsers (and users) don't properly report themselves to the sites they visit. Yes, that's generally a bad thing, but sometimes it's nice to be able to force a site to think you're on a Windows Desktop.

Really, the point is driven home when you see that Series60 is way down at 0.1%. That either means that hitslink is only looking at the US or that there's something seriously wrong here. Even in my wildest dreams I wouldn't believe that Windows Mobile devices access the web more than Series60. Outside the US Series60 (and even more so with Symbian generally) enjoys a marketshare so outrageously big it boggles the mind.

Still, can you smell the fear in the above debunking? Because if we're really honest with ourselves, we'll admit it's there. Not a genuine fear that the iPhone will beat Windows Mobile in marketshare (in the US or globally), mind you. No - if nothing else take it as a sign that using the web browser on the iPhone is a soul-uplifting, joyful experience that keeps you coming back for more. PocketIE, on the other hand, is beginning to crush my spirit just a little bit. Thank god for Opera, but it's still no Mobile Safari.

Microsoft, Opera, Wake3 (with webkit), Mozilla, JB5, Access (NetFront)... somebody... ANYBODY: please make a browser for Windows Mobile that's competitive with Mobile Safari.