Programming - - By Craig Buckler

Browser Trends, July 2011: 1 in 5 People Now Use Chrome

It’s increasingly difficult to keep track of the browser market. Chrome 12, Firefox 5 and Opera 11.5 were released last month. Some browsers auto-update, some don’t. Some vendors have lavish launch promotions, others don’t mention it.

The big news for July is that Chrome usage has passed 20% for the first time. Let’s examine the full StatCounter statistics in more detail…

Browser May June change relative
IE 9.0 4.57% 6.18% +1.61% +35.20%
IE 8.0 29.06% 27.67% -1.39% -4.80%
IE 7.0 6.39% 6.00% -0.39% -6.10%
IE 6.0 3.84% 3.72% -0.12% -3.10%
Firefox 5.0 0.00% 2.81% +2.81% n/a
Firefox 4.0 14.23% 14.04% -0.19% -1.30%
Firefox 3.5+ 13.95% 10.44% -3.51% -25.20%
Firefox 3.1- 1.12% 1.05% -0.07% -6.30%
Chrome 19.38% 20.67% +1.29% +6.70%
Safari 5.01% 5.07% +0.06% +1.20%
Opera 1.83% 1.74% -0.09% -4.90%
Others 0.62% 0.61% -0.01% -1.60%
IE (all) 43.86% 43.57% -0.29% -0.70%
Firefox (all) 29.30% 28.34% -0.96% -3.30%

This table shows market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. another 3.1% of IE6 users abandoned the browser last month (yay!) There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

In June, Chrome 11 toppled Firefox 3.6 to become the world’s second most-used browser. Confusingly, the launch of Chrome 12 has split Google’s user base so Firefox 4.0 has now taken second place. Despite being available for little over a week, Firefox 5.0 has already gained 2.8% market share as Firefox 3.x and 4.0 users migrate.

However, there’s little good news for Mozilla. Firefox’s overall total dropped by almost 1% in June: three times worse than IE and one of the biggest falls the browser has ever experienced. There doesn’t appear to be a particular reason; Firefox 4 and 5 have been well-received but they haven’t halted Chrome’s progress. Perhaps the changes were too radical for some? Or did users investigate other options rather than upgrading?

IE9 has made good gains although IE8 remains the most popular browser version. IE6 and 7 continue to drop although the pace is slowing.

Opera also experienced a small drop. However, version 11.5 may be able to reverse that trend and there’s better news for the company in the mobile arena…

Mobile Browser Usage

According to StatCounter, desktop browsers account for 93.47% of web activity. Mobile browser usage grew by almost 1% last month to 6.53%. This may be a seasonal anomaly since it’s summer in much of the western world — net users may be out enjoying the sunshine (or drizzle for those of us in the UK).

Movements within the mobile browser market are quite unusual and possibly influenced by seasonal factors. Nokia may be experiencing business issues, but they will be pleased to discover that their (fairly basic) browser has overtaken Android and Safari on the iPhone. Opera has also made gains following the latest release of their mobile editions:

  1. Opera Mini/Mobile — 22.81% (up 1.00%)
  2. Nokia browser — 17.66% (up 1.16%)
  3. Android — 17.25% (up 0.24%)
  4. iPhone — 15.22% (down 1.49%)
  5. Blackberry — 11.98% (down 0.78%)

If you’ve not done so already, perhaps it’s time to consider how your business will be affected by the rapid rise of mobile platforms.