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Browser Trends September 2015: IE's Demise Edges Closer

By Craig Buckler



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In August, Chrome exceeded one in every two users for the first time. Can it keep up the pace in September’s StatCounter statistics? …

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, July to August 2015

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

Browser July August change relative
IE (all) 17.18% 15.99% -1.19% -6.90%
IE11 10.84% 9.94% -0.90% -8.30%
IE10 1.73% 1.66% -0.07% -4.00%
IE9 1.95% 1.83% -0.12% -6.20%
IE6/7/8 2.66% 2.56% -0.10% -3.80%
Edge 0.05% 0.74% +0.69% +1,380.00%
Chrome 51.89% 52.97% +1.08% +2.10%
Firefox 15.68% 15.60% -0.08% -0.50%
Safari 4.20% 3.77% -0.43% -10.20%
iPad Safari 5.54% 5.53% -0.01% -0.20%
Opera 1.81% 1.79% -0.02% -1.10%
Others 3.65% 3.61% -0.04% -1.10%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, August 2014 to August 2015

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

Browser August 2014 August 2015 change relative
IE (all) 20.31% 15.99% -4.32% -21.30%
IE11 9.10% 9.94% +0.84% +9.20%
IE10 3.05% 1.66% -1.39% -45.60%
IE9 3.12% 1.83% -1.29% -41.30%
IE6/7/8 5.04% 2.56% -2.48% -49.20%
Chrome 46.37% 52.97% +6.60% +14.20%
Firefox 17.48% 15.60% -1.88% -10.80%
Safari 10.80% 9.30% -1.50% -13.90%
Opera 1.42% 1.79% +0.37% +26.10%
Others 3.62% 4.35% +0.73% +20.20%

(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. 10.2% of OS X Safari users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated and StatCounter vs NetMarketShare.)

Chrome had another amazing month. I was expecting growth to slow but the normal 1% service has been resumed and usage now stands at 53%.

Microsoft’s Edge was the only other browser to make a gain with a 0.7% jump. That’s less than the 1.34% IE11 enjoyed when it was launched in October 2013, but it’s impressive when you consider all Edge users had to install and configure a new OS to get the browser. Edge has been generally well received. It doesn’t beat the competition and there are a few missing features but it’s very fast, capable and shows promise.

In total, Internet Explorer fell by almost 1.2% and will slip behind Firefox next month if the trend continues. While some have migrated to Edge, one in thirty IE users went elsewhere. IE is unlikely to die soon, given it’s the only Microsoft browser on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, but it’s increasingly irrelevant. IE versions 6 to 10 account for just 6% of the market.

Firefox and Opera lost a little ground, but Safari had a more dramatic dip. It’s been propped up by the iPad edition for several months, but usage may have plateaued on that platform.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, July to August 2015

Mobile use had another massive 2.02% hike during August to reach 41.50% of all web activity. It’s grown more than 5% in two months and the promised 50:50 split looms closer.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser July August change relative
Chrome 33.82% 33.52% -0.30% -0.90%
iPhone 18.96% 17.54% -1.42% -7.50%
UC Browser 14.93% 15.87% +0.94% +6.30%
Android 15.16% 14.46% -0.70% -4.60%
Opera Mini/Mobile 11.63% 13.17% +1.54% +13.20%
IEMobile 2.11% 2.02% -0.09% -4.30%
Others 3.39% 3.42% +0.03% +0.90%

It was an unusual month. Chrome, the older Android application and the iPhone edition of Safari all dropped.

UC Browser overtook Android to take third position in the chart — an amazing achievement for a browser which isn’t installed by default and barely registers above 1% in America and Europe. However, it’s the most popular mobile browser in Asia (25%) and is especially strong in India (49.0%) and China (38.3%).

Opera was the only other browser to make a gain. Similarly, it has a powerful following in Africa (62.4%) and Asia again (13.9%).

Today’s lesson: don’t underestimate the rapidly expanding African and Asian markets!

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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