Today's sign of the tech apocalypse: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has chosen the iPhone -- not Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry, not Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) Symbian, not even its own Windows Mobile -- as the debut platform for Seadragon Mobile, a large-image browser.

I love how Alex Daley, group product manager for Mr. Softy's Live Labs in-house incubator, explained his team's rationale to technology blogger Todd Bishop of TechFlash.

"The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit)," Daley told Bishop. "Most phones out today don't have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do. I couldn't just pick up a Blackberry or a Nokia off the shelf and build Seadragon for it without GPU support."

In other words, the iPhone's advanced features put it ahead of peers in this area. And other areas, too, according to the most recent worldwide smartphone market share data from Canalys:


Q3 2008 Shipments

% Market Share

Q3 2007 Shipments

% Market Share


15.485 mil


16.025 mil



6.899 mil


1.107 mil


Research In Motion

6.051 mil


3.298 mil



2.313 mil


2.058 mil


High Tech Computer

2.308 mil


.850 mil


All Others

6.791 mil


7.816 mil


Source: Canalys.

This is why Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs won't sell a $99 iPhone at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Fool. Why go cheap when one of your platform competitors recognizes you've created a winner?

Surely Microsoft has, and will continue to, create plenty of excellent software for its own platforms. But as an Apple investor, I'm glad to see that Mr. Softy is still a grudging admirer of the iEmpire's wares.

Brrrrrring! Its related Foolishness calling:

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