Last month’s browser trends report indicated how well Firefox 4 and IE9 were doing in the month after their release. They’re still growing rapidly, but Google has capitalized on market turmoil caused by browser upgrades. If we look at individual versions, Google Chrome 11 has overtaken Firefox 3.6 to become the second most-used browser with a 16.07% share. IE8 still tops the chart with 29.06%.
Let’s examine the full StatCounter statistics in more detail…
This table shows market share statistics for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 18% of IE7 users abandoned the browser last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.
There are two primary reasons Chrome 11 has overtaken Firefox 3.6 to hit the Number 2 slot:
- Chrome updates itself automatically. The majority of Chrome users have version 11 even though version 10 was the predominant browser last month.
- Firefox 3.6 usage has dropped as users migrate to Firefox 4.0.
Firefox 4 has almost doubled within a month so I expect it will overtake Chrome shortly. However, Firefox 5 is due within a few weeks so that could complicate matters for Mozilla.
IE9 usage has doubled too, but a greater proportion of users abandoned IE6, 7 and 8. Two-thirds of Chrome’s growth is caused by users migrating from Microsoft browsers; it should hit 20% by next month.
I have also solved the riddle of last month’s growth in “other” browsers. It was, ahem, a mistake I made in my spreadsheet. Apologies. It didn’t affect other figures, but those not using IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera now total a more realistic 0.6% of the market.
Mobile Browser Usage
The table above does not include mobile browsers. According to StatCounter, desktop browsers account for 94.25% of all web activity. Mobile browser usage is growing sedately and its 5.75% is dominated by:
- Opera Mini/Mobile — 21.81%
- Android — 17.01%
- iPhone — 16.71%
- Nokia browser — 16.50%
- Blackberry — 12.76%
The mobile market is more varied than most developers realize and testing multiple platforms is difficult. While you may own and test the latest 4G smartphone, remember to consider those with less capable devices.
- Browser Trends, May 2011: Explosive Growth for Firefox 4.0 and IE9 but Chrome’s Closing In
- Browser Trends, April 2011: Firefox 4.0 Beats IE9 and IE7′s Market Share Drops Below 10%
- Browser Market Shares and Trends, March 2011: IE6 Usage Drops Below 5%
- Current Browser Market Shares and Trends
- Chrome 7 Overtakes IE7 to Become the World’s Third Most-Used Browser