Browser Trends December 2013: Blink Browsers Bite Back

By Craig Buckler

Internet Explorer has been on an upward surge since July and last month was no exception. But the browser market rarely remains still so let’s check StatCounter’s latest figures

Worldwide Browser Statistics October 2013 to November 2013

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

Browser October November change relative
IE (all) 28.94% 27.29% -1.65% -5.70%
IE11 0.13% 1.47% +1.34% +1,030.80%
IE10 12.44% 11.10% -1.34% -10.80%
IE9 5.99% 5.29% -0.70% -11.70%
IE8 9.56% 8.65% -0.91% -9.50%
IE7 0.59% 0.50% -0.09% -15.30%
IE6 0.23% 0.28% +0.05% +21.70%
Chrome 40.45% 41.95% +1.50% +3.70%
Firefox 18.09% 18.13% +0.04% +0.20%
Safari 8.53% 8.48% -0.05% -0.60%
Opera 1.12% 1.14% +0.02% +1.80%
Others 2.87% 3.01% +0.14% +4.90%

Worldwide Browser Statistics November 2012 to November 2013

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

Browser November 2012 November 2013 change relative
IE (all) 31.22% 27.29% -3.93% -12.60%
IE11 0.00% 1.47% +1.47% n/a
IE10 0.29% 11.10% +10.81% +3,727.60%
IE9 17.65% 5.29% -12.36% -70.00%
IE8 12.00% 8.65% -3.35% -27.90%
IE7 0.87% 0.50% -0.37% -42.50%
IE6 0.41% 0.28% -0.13% -31.70%
Chrome 35.78% 41.95% +6.17% +17.20%
Firefox 22.36% 18.13% -4.23% -18.90%
Safari 7.84% 8.48% +0.64% +8.20%
Opera 1.40% 1.14% -0.26% -18.60%
Others 1.40% 3.01% +1.61% +115.00%

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. 15.3% of IE7 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

It’s becoming a two-horse race. Chrome had its biggest jump since April with a 1.5% rise. The majority of users migrated from Internet Explorer (in reality, the situation is a little more complex). I suspected this could owe much to Thanksgiving in the US: Chrome does better during weekends and holidays while IE increases on work days. However, Chrome’s US rise was replicated in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.

It wasn’t all bad for Microsoft — there are ten times more IE11 users than there were at the start of the November. That said, IE10 dropped as fast as IE11 grew so it’s primarily those upgrading. The good news for developers is IE8 is starting to fall again. However, the browser will be resilient while XP usage remains strong.

Firefox, Safari and Opera barely moved. Opera 15+ is now used by 0.42% of the market or a third of all Opera users. I doubt the other two-thirds will consider upgrading until the feature set approaches that of Opera 12.

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile web usage increased to a record-breaking 20.04% of all web activity during November. One in five web visits is now from a mobile device.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser October November change relative
Android 25.62% 26.69% +1.07% +4.20%
iPhone 19.18% 20.19% +1.01% +5.30%
Opera Mini/Mobile 24.03% 16.51% -7.52% -31.30%
UC Browser 10.45% 11.56% +1.11% +10.60%
Nokia Browser 5.84% 7.06% +1.22% +20.90%
Chrome 4.77% 6.30% +1.53% +32.10%
Blackberry 2.87% 3.21% +0.34% +11.80%
Others 7.24% 8.48% +1.24% +17.10%

The Android version of Chrome had an amazing month and looks set to overtake Nokia in December.

Last month’s weird 7% Opera increase has been reversed. StatCounter reported a spike in Opera-generated traffic on 26 September — it appears to be legitimate rather than bot-related, but there’s no known explanation. Unless you know otherwise…

Free Guide:

7 Habits of Successful CTOs

"What makes a great CTO?" Engineering skills? Business savvy? An innate tendency to channel a mythical creature (ahem, unicorn)? All of the above? Discover the top traits of the most successful CTOs in this free guide.

  • Finn Balle-Larsen

    Interesting how data can be interpreted differently :-)
    I would think
    that “the market rarely remains still” is a bit funny. We have seen
    that IE has been on a consistant decline curve except for some surges
    during October and November this year. So the decline of 4% for this
    issue is not surprising. I can recognise the November 2013 28% figure,
    but not the November 2012 32% for IE, I would think it was closer to 40%
    (using statcounter)
    There has been as consistant 8% decline yearly for IE since 2009.
    Could it be that pre IE10 users will migrate to IE11 or switch to Chrome, maybe even before they replace their XP platform?
    Or will Chrome eat in the the IE10 and IE11?
    If the decline continues, IE will be irrelevant in less than two years, especially if it is version fragmented.

Because We Like You
Free Ebooks!

Grab SitePoint's top 10 web dev and design ebooks, completely free!

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.