Browser Trends April 2014: Signs of Stability

By Craig Buckler
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There was little to report in last month’s browser trends. Do the latest figures from StatCounter show any significant movement?…

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, February 2014 to March 2014

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser February March change relative
IE (all) 22.83% 22.53% -0.30% -1.30%
IE11 7.50% 8.27% +0.77% +10.30%
IE10 4.41% 3.83% -0.58% -13.20%
IE9 3.73% 3.49% -0.24% -6.40%
IE8 6.61% 6.18% -0.43% -6.50%
IE7 0.25% 0.23% -0.02% -8.00%
IE6 0.33% 0.53% +0.20% +60.60%
Chrome 43.74% 43.75% +0.01% +0.00%
Firefox 18.90% 18.76% -0.14% -0.70%
Safari 4.65% 4.72% +0.07% +1.50%
iPad Safari 5.06% 5.20% +0.14% +2.80%
Opera 1.26% 1.35% +0.09% +7.10%
Others 3.56% 3.69% +0.13% +3.70%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, March 2013 to March 2014

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser March 2013 March 2014 change relative
IE (all) 29.29% 22.53% -6.76% -23.10%
IE11 0.00% 8.27% +8.27% n/a
IE10 2.26% 3.83% +1.57% +69.50%
IE9 15.81% 3.49% -12.32% -77.90%
IE8 10.29% 6.18% -4.11% -39.90%
IE7 0.64% 0.23% -0.41% -64.10%
IE6 0.29% 0.53% +0.24% +82.80%
Chrome 38.13% 43.75% +5.62% +14.70%
Firefox 20.85% 18.76% -2.09% -10.00%
Safari 8.48% 9.92% +1.44% +17.00%
Opera 1.16% 1.35% +0.19% +16.40%
Others 2.09% 3.69% +1.60% +76.60%

The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 6.5% of IE8 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

Again, we’ve seen a remarkably stable month. Safari and Opera climbed slightly higher, Chrome stayed mostly unchanged, and IE and Firefox dropped a little. Perhaps it’s not surprising; all the modern browsers are good applications and largely interchangeable. You’re unlikely to find a killer feature which isn’t available elsewhere. Does it matter if our users choose to adopt Chrome, IE11, Firefox, Safari or Opera?

I’ve separated Safari into the desktop and iPad versions this month. The tablets are incredibly popular; they’re responsible for one in twenty web visits and more than half of Safari’s market share. That said, iPad users have little choice; Safari is the only proper option — most other browsers in the AppStore are skins covering a Safari skeleton.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, February 2014 to March 2014

Mobile usage is increasing by almost 1% every month and has reached 25.46% of all web activity.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser February March change relative
Android 26.44% 25.76% -0.68% -2.60%
iPhone 20.88% 21.49% +0.61% +2.90%
Chrome 11.95% 13.56% +1.61% +13.50%
Opera Mini/Mobile 13.70% 13.05% -0.65% -4.70%
UC Browser 11.30% 11.17% -0.13% -1.20%
Nokia Browser 5.64% 5.22% -0.42% -7.40%
IEMobile 2.20% 2.19% -0.01% -0.50%
Blackberry 2.22% 2.12% -0.10% -4.50%
Others 5.67% 5.44% -0.23% -4.10%

After leaping UC Browser last month, Chrome enjoyed a 1.6% jump to overtake Opera and become the third most-used mobile browser. While this has had some impact on the stock Android browser, their combined statistics remain impressive.

Lower down the chart, Blackberry has fallen below IEMobile; a platform not known for its widespread success. The drop has been staggering — almost a third of smart-phone users owned a Blackberry a few years ago. It illustrates how companies cannot afford to be complacent in the mobile market.

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