Browser Trends March 2014: Chrome’s Mobile Aspirations

By Craig Buckler
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Last month’s browser trends were slightly unusual with Safari the only browser able to make gains. The latest figures from StatCounter are now available…

Worldwide Browser Statistics January 2014 to February 2014

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

Browser January February change relative
IE (all) 22.83% 22.47% -0.36% -1.60%
IE11 7.50% 7.97% +0.47% +6.30%
IE10 4.41% 4.21% -0.20% -4.50%
IE9 3.73% 3.59% -0.14% -3.80%
IE8 6.61% 6.19% -0.42% -6.40%
IE7 0.25% 0.22% -0.03% -12.00%
IE6 0.33% 0.29% -0.04% -12.10%
Chrome 43.74% 43.96% +0.22% +0.50%
Firefox 18.90% 19.19% +0.29% +1.50%
Safari 9.71% 9.73% +0.02% +0.20%
Opera 1.26% 1.30% +0.04% +3.20%
Others 3.56% 3.35% -0.21% -5.90%

Worldwide Browser Statistics February 2013 to February 2014

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

Browser February 2013 February 2014 change relative
IE (all) 29.82% 22.47% -7.35% -24.60%
IE11 0.00% 7.97% +7.97% n/a
IE10 1.21% 4.21% +3.00% +247.90%
IE9 16.87% 3.59% -13.28% -78.70%
IE8 10.76% 6.19% -4.57% -42.50%
IE7 0.68% 0.22% -0.46% -67.60%
IE6 0.30% 0.29% -0.01% -3.30%
Chrome 37.11% 43.96% +6.85% +18.50%
Firefox 21.34% 19.19% -2.15% -10.10%
Safari 8.58% 9.73% +1.15% +13.40%
Opera 1.23% 1.30% +0.07% +5.70%
Others 1.92% 3.35% +1.43% +74.50%

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. 6.4% of IE8 users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated.

Perhaps the most remarkable observation is just how unremarkable the usage figures are! Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera made small gains while IE had a fairly insignificant fall. Overall, the chart remained relatively stable. In some ways that’s a shame; it’s great to see applications having a disruptive influence on the market. Unfortunately, it’s become increasingly difficult for vendors to tackle the top five. New browsers can only dream of Opera-like user numbers.

The yearly statistics are a little more interesting:

  • One in four IE users has migrated elsewhere.
  • Firefox has lost a tenth of its user base.
  • Chrome has almost 20% more users.

This isn’t quite accurate because the number of web users has risen over the year. However, it does indicate that people are becoming more aware of the options and are less fearful of switching browsers.

Chrome may not be making the monthly desktop gains it once did, but the mobile market is heating up…

Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile usage increased by almost 1% in February to reach 24.68% of all web activity.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser January February change relative
Android 27.00% 26.44% -0.56% -2.10%
iPhone 21.38% 20.88% -0.50% -2.30%
Opera Mini/Mobile 14.61% 13.70% -0.91% -6.20%
Chrome 8.59% 11.95% +3.36% +39.10%
UC Browser 11.57% 11.30% -0.27% -2.30%
Nokia Browser 6.11% 5.64% -0.47% -7.70%
Blackberry 2.58% 2.22% -0.36% -14.00%
Others 8.16% 7.87% -0.29% -3.60%

Chrome for mobile has overtaken UC Browser with a staggering 3.36% increase in market share. Devices such as the Nexus now come with Chrome pre-installed, but I’m not convinced that’s the sole reason for the rise. Unless this is a statistical anomaly, it seems users have discovered Chrome on their mobile — and they like it.

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