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May 5, 2010

Browser Wars - Wrong Data

Here is the typical miss-statement of the browser-war status.

IE8, Chrome have most momentum in browser wars

IE8, Chrome have most momentum in browser wars
Data source: Net Applications

Chrome is on a roll. It's the fastest-growing browser in terms of market share we've seen in a long time. And its rapid growth corresponds with Internet Explorer's steady decline. Keeping that in mind though, data from last month shows that IE8 has managed to grab 25 percent of the browser market, beating all versions of Firefox to the punch. In January 2010, only Chrome and Safari showed positive growth.

Between December and January, Internet Explorer dropped a significant 0.51 percentage points (from 62.69 percent to 62.18 percent) and Firefox slipped 0.20 percentage points (from 24.61 percent to 24.41 percent). Chrome jumped a sizeable 0.57 percentage points (from 4.63 percent to 5.20 percent) while Safari moved up 0.05 percentage points (from 4.46 percent to 4.51 percent). Opera, on the other hand, dipped 0.02 percentage points (from 2.40 percent to 2.38 percent), though we're still hoping version 10.5 will turn things around for the little guy.

Why is this picture wrong?

  • iTunes is a browser, used by 70% of the MP3 device owners. The browser stats don't track iTunes use.
  • Mobile devices already account for over 30% of web use. The iPhone is the top device, but it does not allow background tasks and third-party tools to track the use.
  • Top means to access social networks is via mobile apps.
  • Google Analytics fails to track data for Palm or iPhone app access.
If this data were trackable, has Explorer already lost the lead as the top browser to Safari? Is Chrome even a credible trend that would justify this headline?

The right headline, if anyone can see the entire web, is probably:

Safari Leads Among Browsers


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