The Google Android SDK, released yesterday, confirmed what had been long been rumored: Google’s mobile platform uses WebKit, an open source browser engine . “We have been working on our mobile implementation of WebKit for quite some time,” someone from the Android team wrote on The Surfing Safari, the official blog of the WebKit community.
Given how much Google has helped Firefox, its choice of WebKit strikes me as hugely significant for the browser market. Such an endorsement is only going to increase the importance of WebKit’s growing presence in the mobile ecosystem.
Even though Opera is still the mobile browser to beat, WebKit-based browsers are fast becoming a common presence in some of the newer mobile platforms. In addition to Google’s Android, WebKit has found a home inside the Apple iPhone platform as well as the Nokia-backed Symbian S60 phones, such as the N and E Series devices.
If you take the total number of the N and E Series phones and iPhones, my back-of-the-envelope (and highly unscientific) estimates put the number of handsets using WebKit-based browsers at over 30 million.
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