Mobile trend hurts IE, Firefox

Internet Explorer still accounts for largest desktop usage but its weak mobile presence has hurt its overall standing

The growing popularity of Web browsing from tablet devices and smart phones has been a boon for Apple’s Safari and Google’s Android, but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox are having a hard time maintaining a hold on usage share, according to a recent report.

(Browser usage market share. Image from Net Application)

Web analytics firm Net Applications reported that mobile devices accounted for as much as 12 per cent of browser use for the whole of March. While, down 13 per cent from the previous month, the company said mobile browsing usage in March was still strong enough to show which browsers took advantage of the mobile trend. Net Applications measured the combined desktop and mobile usage of browser from Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Opera to determine the total reach.

While Safari ranks fourth among the five browsers, its enormous 61.8 per cent share of mobile browsing has boosted its overall share to 12.1 per cent making it, at number four, a strong rival to Chrome.

Thanks to the prominence of Android in the mobile space, Google (number three overall) accounted for a combined usage of 17.3 per cent even if Chrome’s desktop share at 16.5 per cent was about four points behind Firefox.

The overall second placer, Firefox had a total share of 17.7 per cent. It suffered heavily due to its virtually non-existent mobile browsing presence despite having an Android version, according to Net Applications.


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While IE dominated the desktop browsing space in March with 55.8 per cent market share, its marginal presence in mobile dropped IE’s combined share to only 49.1 per cent. IE, is still the top grossing browser overall.

Apple was the only browser maker whose mobile component proved larger than its desktop. About two-thirds of Apple’s total usage share came from Safari on iOS- the default browser for iPhone and iPad devices.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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