Firefox Hits 20% Browser Market Share Worldwide

Via our friends at ReadWriteWeb, Mozilla is reporting that for the first time ever Firefox has broken 20% market share worldwide according to Net Applications. Two out of the four weeks in the month of October, Net Applications put Firefox market share at 20% or more, which is the first time that has happened. Firefox should be solidly above the 20% threshold in the next quarterly report from Net Applications — they were at 19.48% last quarter, and have gained at least a percentage point each of the last four quarters.

On almost all browser usage reports, Firefox has been inching toward 20% market share over the past year. TheCounter.com has Firefox at 18% last quarter, as does ADTECH for their Q1 2008 report, for example.

Firefox actually does even better in some global market share reports. W3Counter’s global stats, a report from a company owned by longtime SitePoint forum member Dan Grossman, has reported Firefox at over 20% since May 2007, and over 30% the past three months. And French service XiTi Monitor reports Firefox usage steadily over 30% for the past half year.

Regardless of which stats you trust, the picture is rosy for Firefox. Unlike Safari and Opera usage — which has generally remained flat across all usage reports (though Net Applications shows some growth for Safari the past couple of years), Firefox has continued rapid growth since its debut four years ago. Among early adopters, that use is even higher. Power user targeted sites generally have a higher concentration of Firefox users.

SitePoint, for example, gets over 50% of our visits from users browsing with Firefox (3.03 being the most popular version). ReadWriteWeb reports 55%, and my Rails Forum site sees over 68% Firefox usage.

It will be interesting to see how Google’s new Chrome browser (our coverage) impacts Firefox’s growth. It’s really too early to tell, but so far it hasn’t seemed to impact the usage share growth of Firefox very much, despite early stats showing that it was taking users away from Firefox (likely just a novelty effect). Usage has stabilized at just over 3% for Chrome at SitePoint, and seems to be at anywhere from 0.25% to 1% worldwide depending on who you trust.

So congrats to Firefox for reaching the 20% threshold. Here’s to continued growth.