In advance of the launch of the iPhone 4 in Ireland, stats released by Irish mobile internet services company Digital Reach Group (DRG) show an 85% surge in traffic from iPhone handsets in Q2 of this year, when compared to the previous quarter.

The stats come from activity on DRG’s mobile web advertising network, Adforce, and traffic from its apps.  Amongst others the network includes the RTÉ mobile website and the highly popular RTE News Now iPhone app.  As well as indicating a significant growth in the number of iphones in Ireland, the increase shows that users are browsing the web more often on their handsets.

DRG’s figures also show a 53% increase in advertisements served over its network to mobile apps and websites, from a monthly average of 19 million in Q1 to 29 million in Q2.  This indicates both increasing interest in online advertising tailored to mobile phones, as well as a marked increase in traffic to mobile websites.

Gavan Drohan, Operations Director of DRG, says: “The huge growth in mobile traffic shows that users are increasingly browsing on devices other than their PCs.  Smartphones have encouraged day-long internet snacking instead of lengthy evening sessions in front of a PC.”

Due to the live nature and incredible popularity of social media websites smartphones are becoming the consumers choice for leisure internet browsing.

“Facebook and Twitter are services that are best enjoyed on smartphones.  This is recognised by mobile operators offering free usage of these services for marketing and phone manufacturers bundling social media apps with handsets,” added Drohan.

The iPhone isn’t the only Apple media device making an appearance on the Adforce network; 12.7% of all iPhone OS traffic came from the popular media player, the iPod Touch.

Ahead of its launch in Ireland last week, the figures also revealed that many early adopters had already purchased iPads, with 0.3% of all traffic coming from the tablet device.

“With iPhone 4, Nokia’s N8 and more Android handsets about to become available and with the iPad already proving quite popular here, our next quarter figures should paint an interesting picture on how the public are working online,” concludes Drohan.