One of the criticisms against the iPhone was that it would have a small user base and therefore wouldn’t be worth developing for, but as every mobile content company knows it doesn’t really matter how many handsets there are (although that’s the figure always quoted) — the important thing is how many people use those handsets for things other than voice. There have been a lot of signs that iPhone users were disproportionately higher users of the internet from mobile devices, and now Google (NSDQ: GOOG) chimes in with its evidence: “On Christmas, traffic to Google from iPhones surged, surpassing incoming traffic from any other type of mobile device, according to internal Google data made available to The New York Times. A few days later, iPhone traffic to Google fell below that of devices powered by the Nokia-backed Symbian operating system but remained higher than traffic from any other type of cellphone.” Rather than use this as a sociological study of the kind of people who have an iPhone and how they spend Christmas, the suggestion is that the iPhone’s browser is responsible. The iPhone accounts for 2 percent of smartphones worldwide, while Symbian phones account for 63 percent and Window’s Mobile phones have 11 percent. By handset figures the iPhone isn’t that important, but if you have a web page you want to attract mobile browsers too, having an iPhone friendly version is a very good idea. If other handset manufacturers can replicate this sort of enthusiasm for the mobile web it’s going to take off rapidly, and could become the “homogeneous layer” which makes it easy for developers.