Android is the top web-browsing OS for the first time in history

Android is the top web-browsing OS for the first time in history
Remember when the Internet was only accessible from a personal computer? This has not been the case for a long, long time, but most of the browsing was still done through Windows-based devices. Up until last month, that is.

According to data from the research company StatCounter, Android has just overtaken Windows, when it comes to browsing the web. In March, Android generated 39.93% of all web traffic, while Windows accounted for 37.91%. This marks the first time Windows has been dethroned as the lead OS for accessing the Internet.

This trend has been going for quite a while, but back in 2012, the stats painted a completely different picture. Back then, Android generated merely 2.2% of all web traffic.

“This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,” said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter CEO. “It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

The graph below clearly illustrates the trend started back in 2012. What must be kept in mind is that it covers all platforms (desktop, tablets, smartphones and laptops). Windows still holds 84% of the desktop web traffic, and that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon.

However, the market has vastly evolved in the past decade and StatCounter made sure to illustrate it with this.

“Windows won the desktop war but the battlefield moved on,” said Cullen.

via BusinessInsider



1. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Congrats Little Robot.

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Very nice, though that said, it likely isn't due to less windows machines, and more related to the enormous amount of smart phones.

4. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I agree with you 100%, though I can't help but wonder how long it will be before Microsoft's desktop market will start falling. Chrome OS is actually really taking off in the education system, and if someone were to ever release a truly good Chromebit, I can see people buying those on the cheap to gift to family members. I don't see Windows leaving the enterprise markets anytime soon, MS Office has them anchored there for a long long time, but I'm seeing their relevance challenged in other markets.

12. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

It was taking off now it has been slumping a bit. MS is also going to be making new tablets/hybrids using snapdragon 835 + chips with cellular tech built into them. Great for businesses who supply both a phone and a laptop/tablet. Just supply one and use bluetooth headset. Chrome OS will just never even break the market. They need to beat MAC before even going after windows.

14. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, I beg to differ, it was less than a year ago Google made news when their Chromebooks actually outsold Macs for the first time. I own one and I rarely use my Windows PC any more, and others I know who use the OS really love the simplicity of it all. These days, most people use computers simply for their browsers.

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First off, the face of computing has changed over the years. Each year we continue to see more strides in mobile computing than anywhere else. I guess that is why 1.5 billion smartphones sold in 2016 alone, and only 260 million PC, laptops, 2 and 1s combined only sold 260 million. Which continues to decline. Let's face it smartphones come in phablets sizes to small one handed sizes. They last a full day of usage including browsing, and more. They are also more convenient and easier to use. Also the number of apps on Android outpaces all others. It's approaching 3 million apps and growing strong every day. You can even use your smartphones for VR. They do more than most PCs, especially when you can use them as a desktop PC with split screen multitasking, yet you have the convenience of a smartphone, and this trend is going to continue.

22. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

When a smartphone can run high end game like a desktop maybe i be interested. right now my gaming desktop is faster much faster and easier to update as well ( i can put 300$ get a new gpu , 100$ get more ram ect ect ect ) Its just logic as fast as smartphone will get faster computer will get as well ( they are all based on similar tech so an improvement on one improve the others ) but as desktop are bigger they can handle more heats and bigger cpu ect. So computers are not going away anytime soon if ever but they will get used only for more specific thing like server hosting , gaming ( real gaming not mobile one ) and everything else thats need very big amount of power.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22289; Member since: May 28, 2014

I agree with you on Chrome OS. It would have to beat Mac's very small market share before it got anywhere near Windows.

21. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yes Gamers and professional will use windows for a long time.

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And remember that ad-blockers usually block StatCounter as well. Doesn't account for the major loss but it does add up

20. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

A very important note there that, and running internet without adblockers while possible, is only getting more and more annoying as many sites get insanely obnoxious ads. I personally whitelist those with none obnoxious ads and that I want to support.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22289; Member since: May 28, 2014

Congrats, Android. It was only a matter of time before this happened, considering the sheer amount of Android handsets that are in use globally. Android handsets are in use in places in the world where there are little to no desktops/laptops/tablets/smartphones that run Windows. Still, I'm a little amazed at how Android and Windows dominate the market in this aspect.

5. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

The winds of change are a blowin. I honestly see tablets replacing traditional PCs in the enterprise markets before too long. Don't get me wrong, I still see them running Windows, and docked to display on separate screens and with a physical keyboard and mouse, but in production or warehouse settings, I can see their instant portability and app development to be a real advantage of the platform especially in those environments.

6. Joms_US

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

Notice the stagnant growth of OSX and iOS, these are overhyped pathetic OSes.

8. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Just like your identity....

15. Joms_US

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

Just like your 10% population worldwide. Cr@pple is continuously milking from iTard like you.

17. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

What? I own 700 million people on this world! WOW.......thnx for the info. TROLL!

23. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

no matter what excuses and deflection you use AmashAziz. OSX and iOS growth is very poor compared to android. Thats a reality clearly shown by this graph.

24. kiko007

Posts: 7517; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

That's like saying BMW's growth is poor because 95% of the population don't have access to them. Android dominates in three places: China, India, and South America. The two nations combined with the continent make up 45% of the human population, so of course you see staggering market growth. There's also another caveat: They are some of the lowest median income locations on Earth. India in particular, where the per capita income is $1600 USD, has the largest disparity between iOS and Android. Reason being? Over 90% of the population simply can't afford to pay $600 for anything nonessential. China has a similar outlook, albeit slightly more impressive. In places like these the SoL (Standard of Life) isn't very high. Now, moving to Apple, we see that they thrive in: America, Japan, and certain European nations. What do all these places have in common? An affluent economy and abundant citizen median income. The American per capita income is SIGNIFICANTLY higher, likewise with Japan. Simply put: People make more money = people have more spending power. Moving past the people aspect, let's take a look at average selling price differences between the two platforms. I'll start with Android, where the average selling price gas dropped to around $185 USD. There are a myriad of factors as to why that us, but this isn't about that, so I won't get into it. Ape on the other hand averages $695. Over three times HIGHER. The significance of the number is important when discussing market share, because as pointed out, not very many places hold a population capable of spending $700 on a phone. Now do you see a pattern as to why Android devices sell well as a whole?

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You forgot Android dominates Africa, plus Android dominates Europe as well. Wait with what you listed as well I guess that is why Android dominates the world. iOS is trailing far behind globally. The other thing is Android has every price tier, whereas Apple does not. They tried the mid range market with the release of the iPhone SE, but let's get real it's too much money for a mid range device, especially for what you are getting in terms of specs. When you bring up the average selling price. You are proving that Apple is charging too much for what they are offering. I guess that is why I am see now iPhones 6s and iPhone 7's even for free on contracts. I never saw that before for Apple. Especially with the latest iPhone version. I guess Apple is finding out that they cannot go with a three year design and not expect people to get board of Apple hardware and designs. Let's get real Apples iPhone 7 is basically the iPhone 6s without an audio jack, but it has water resistance, and a newer SoC. But that sums it up. Even low ranged Android devices now offer higher resolution displays, really good cameras, all metal frames, NFC, LTE cat 9, 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage for a little more than $200 (example Moto G5). If the blind sheep actually looked at what is on the market, then they would actually know that Apple is ripping them off. All facts for you kiko007.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

no Linux? too fragmented I guess :-/

10. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

So according to this graph, in five more years Windows will disappear...

11. TheMan68

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

Windows 8, 9 and 10 suck. I use classic shell on 7. My friend who can read code told me that everything you do on the newest versions goes directly to the NSA.

13. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Windows 9?

18. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Make Microsoft great again.........with Windows 9!

26. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Okay and so does Apple and Google. What, with the latter auto-starting applications including those that rely entirely on an Internet connection.

25. pankajxdx unregistered

Yeah "Windows still holds 84% of the desktop web traffic" but what you forgot to mention is after 2015 it's a Mobile-first world. In 2015 the number of people accessing web on mobile surpassed number of people accessing web on PCs. So, Android has the largest share overall, as well as in the bigger chunk (mobile).

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.