Browsing the web was the fastest growing activity on UK mobile phones between the second and third quarters of 2009.

The Nielsen Company reports that the number of British mobile internet users increased by 1.6 million to 10.4 million in Q3 2009 from 8.8 million in Q2 2009.

This means over one-fifth of people in the UK with a mobile now use their handset to browse the web.

Downloading applications or software was the second-fastest growing activity.

Driven mostly by Nokia and Apple iPhone, but increasingly the BlackBerry device owners, the number of Britons doing this increased by just over one million from 3.1 million in Q2 to 4.1 million in Q3, meaning eight percent of Britons with a mobile now engage in this activity.

Mobile web browsing Apple iPhone

Then follows more established mobile activities such as email (up almost 0.8 million people), receiving text alerts and sending texts (both up 0.7 million).

However, newer forms of mobile technology feature prominently with video being the sixth-fastest growing activity (up by half a million) followed by location-based services being used by 0.4 million more Britons in Q3 2009 than in Q2 2009.

Edward Kershaw, vice president of Mobile Media at Nielsen says: "Although there have been sizeable increases in the take-up of new mobile technologies such as video and location-based services they remain niche forms of behaviour.

"Although the era of the handset as a truly multi-media device on a mass-market level lies somewhere on the horizon, the key for companies to successfully harness mobile lies in a realistic understanding of what media activities people on a large-scale are actually doing on their handsets now."

Fastest-growing UK mobile phone media activities, Q2 2009 - Q3 2009

Fastest-growing UK mobile phone media activities

The number of people in the UK using smartphones increased 10 percent between Q2 and Q3 2009 from 5.6 million to 6.2 million - over 577,000 new users.

BlackBerry was the fastest-growing smartphone with almost 382,000 new UK users - 50 per cent more than Apple?s iPhone (over 254,000 new users).