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Browser Trends August 2013: The Summer Slowdown?

By Craig Buckler



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In last month’s analysis Internet Explorer dropped a massive 2.29%. The news is far less dramatic this month according to the latest figures from StatCounter

Worldwide Browser Statistics June 2013 to July 2013

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

Browser June July change relative
IE (all) 25.42% 24.52% -0.90% -3.50%
IE10+ 9.88% 10.94% +1.06% +10.70%
IE9 6.79% 5.31% -1.48% -21.80%
IE8 8.04% 7.63% -0.41% -5.10%
IE7 0.49% 0.44% -0.05% -10.20%
IE6 0.22% 0.20% -0.02% -9.10%
Chrome 42.75% 43.14% +0.39% +0.90%
Firefox 20.01% 20.09% +0.08% +0.40%
Safari 8.37% 8.59% +0.22% +2.60%
Opera 1.02% 1.09% +0.07% +6.90%
Others 2.43% 2.57% +0.14% +5.80%

Worldwide Browser Statistics July 2012 to July 2013

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

Browser July 2012 July 2013 change relative
IE (all) 31.99% 24.52% -7.47% -23.40%
IE10+ 0.00% 10.94% +10.94% n/a
IE9 16.93% 5.31% -11.62% -68.60%
IE8 13.26% 7.63% -5.63% -42.50%
IE7 1.28% 0.44% -0.84% -65.60%
IE6 0.52% 0.20% -0.32% -61.50%
Chrome 33.90% 43.14% +9.24% +27.30%
Firefox 23.76% 20.09% -3.67% -15.40%
Safari 7.13% 8.59% +1.46% +20.50%
Opera 1.71% 1.09% -0.62% -36.30%
Others 1.51% 2.57% +1.06% +70.20%

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. another 21.8% of IE9 users abandoned the browser last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

We’ve not seen the chart this stable for a while. Internet Explorer had a modest drop. IE10 made good gains at the expense of IE9 which is dying rapidly. However, it’s clear Windows XP usage remains high with IE8 retaining almost 8% of users.

All the competing browsers increased a little but even Chrome could only manage a 0.39% jump — significantly lower than it’s typical monthly 1%.

Toward the bottom of the chart, the newly released Opera 15 has 0.09% usage, which equates to 8% of Opera users upgrading. That’s reasonably impressive given the mostly negative reaction from existing users.

Safari’s figures are also interesting:

  • The iPad version of Safari accounts for 4.07% of the market. That’s impressive for a single device (or variations of a single device). But let’s not forget Safari is the only real browser available for the tablet.
  • The remaining 4.52% of Safari’s market share are Mac OSX users. StatCounter estimates Mac OSX usage at 8% of the desktop OS market, so we can jump to a rough conclusion that almost 60% of users retain Safari as their primary browser.

But is Safari’s future assured? Google has left the Webkit project, iOS has been overtaken by Android in the smartphone/tablet market, and it’s become impossible for web developers to test Safari unless they own an Apple device. I’m not convinced Safari can continue to grow unless Apple can address the situation.

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile usage jumped considerably to 17.35% of all web activity during July 2013. Who wants to be stuck behind a PC when the sun is shining?

The primary mobile browsing applications:

  1. Android — 28.64% (down 0.42%)
  2. iPhone — 22.43% (down 0.34%)
  3. Opera Mini/Mobile – 15.73% (down 0.33%)
  4. UC Browser — 10.57% (up 0.68%)
  5. Nokia browser — 7.14% (down 0.24%)

Like the desktop chart, there are no significant winners or losers this month. People may be using their mobile more but they’re not bothering to try new browsers!

Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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