Browser Trends February 2013: IE10 Becomes the Fastest Growing Browser

By Craig Buckler

Where did January go? You may still be on your traditional post-festivity detox, but the browser chart stops for nothing! Let’s look at the latest market statistics according to StatCounter

Worldwide Browser Statistics December 2012 to January 2013

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

Browser December January change relative
IE (all) 30.78% 30.70% -0.08% -0.30%
IE 9.0+ 18.13% 18.52% +0.39% +2.20%
IE 8.0 11.48% 11.12% -0.36% -3.10%
IE 7.0 0.79% 0.73% -0.06% -7.60%
IE 6.0 0.38% 0.33% -0.05% -13.20%
Firefox 21.89% 21.43% -0.46% -2.10%
Chrome 36.46% 36.55% +0.09% +0.20%
Safari 7.92% 8.27% +0.35% +4.40%
Opera 1.24% 1.19% -0.05% -4.00%
Others 1.71% 1.86% +0.15% +8.80%

Worldwide Browser Statistics January 2012 to January 2013

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

Browser January 2012 January 2013 change relative
IE (all) 37.46% 30.70% -6.76% -18.00%
IE 9.0+ 11.45% 18.52% +7.07% +61.70%
IE 8.0 20.82% 11.12% -9.70% -46.60%
IE 7.0 3.63% 0.73% -2.90% -79.90%
IE 6.0 1.56% 0.33% -1.23% -78.80%
Firefox 24.78% 21.43% -3.35% -13.50%
Chrome 28.45% 36.55% +8.10% +28.50%
Safari 6.61% 8.27% +1.66% +25.10%
Opera 1.96% 1.19% -0.77% -39.30%
Others 0.74% 1.86% +1.12% +151.40%

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 13.2% of IE6 users abandoned the browser last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

January means back to business: Microsoft’s domain. The fastest growing browser last month was IE10 with a 0.35% rise. In relative terms, it had a 56% jump and holds just under 1% of the market. While Windows 8 was not Microsoft’s most triumphant OS launch, people are starting to use it. IE10 isn’t particularly exciting, but it’s a fine browser.

Overall, IE dropped slightly; IE9 increased a little, but older versions fell 0.47%. Within a month, the combined total for IE6 and IE7 should fall below 1% but you should note that, for now, they’re used by more people than IE10.

Safari enjoyed an almost identical increase to IE10 and commands 8.27% of the market. The iPad version is responsible for 3.41% of the market — impressive.

Chrome managed a small jump during January, but it’s becoming more difficult to entice new users. Much of Chrome’s growth has come from legacy IE user migration but that pool is rapidly evaporating. That said, it did far better than Firefox which saw the biggest overall fall.

Finally, we have Opera. I like the plucky little browser but its user base has diminished from just under 2% to just over 1% in the last twelve months. Opera’s certainly a match for the competition but no longer enjoys significant benefits. However, as a professional web developer, you need Opera installed. Give it a go — you may prefer it.

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile usage dropped a fraction to 14.13% of all web activity during January.

The primary mobile browsing applications:

  1. Android — 30.85% (up 2.57%)
  2. iPhone — 23.08% (up 2.44%)
  3. Opera Mini/Mobile – 15.35% (down 1.59%)
  4. UC Browser — 9.75% (down 0.45%)
  5. Nokia browser — 7.46% (down 1.62%)

It’s easy to spot evidence of December gift-giving! Smart phone devices have increased at the expense of feature phone browsers.

Blackberry is at #6 with a 3.1% market share. The new Q10 and Z10 devices received a warm welcome but it will take a monumental shift in user opinion to take the Blackberry browser back to the top of the chart. Can it succeed?

  • Rob

    So the REAL headline is IE is the fastest FALLING browser (ignoring Opera). IE10s market share is still insignificant and in the Opera category for now.

    • Firefox fell faster than IE last month.

      It’s true that IE10’s market share is small, but it will grow rapidly as people migrate to Windows 8. The OS had a shaky start but many businesses update because they’ve paid the license and it’s difficult to buy a new PC without it. That said, IE10’s unlikely to cause significant problems. Ironically, your time may be better spent ensuring older versions function correctly.

  • Does this take into consideration default browsers? I’m very pleased with the progress Chrome is making :)

    • It records what browsers people are using. It doesn’t matter whether another (default) is installed – it won’t be counted if the user isn’t browsing with it.

  • I’m very pleased with the progress Chrome is making :)

  • Gyr

    This story, and especially the headline, embarrassingly missed the boat.

    The obvious story is that in 2012 Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the leading browser on the Internet with a 37.5% share of the browser market. One year later, Chrome has displaced Internet Explorer: Chrome now has 36.6% of the market compared to Internet Explorer’s 30.7%. So the story is that a browser that once held a near monopoly has fallen to minority and second-place status.

    Let’s hope that Internet Explorer falls no further, because browser competition is good for users.

    But SitePoint, let’s at least hit the side of a barn when you throw the ball.

    • We predicted and reported Chrome overtaking IE during the past two years. This article is about last month’s usage movements when IE10 made the biggest gains.

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