Safari the dominant mobile browser in 2012, IE tops for the desktop

Safari the dominant mobile browser in 2012, IE tops for the desktop
According to Net Marketshare data, quoted by Ars Technica, Safari and Internet Explorer finished 2012 with remarkable market shares, which does not change the landscape at the top, but there was a lot of activity with the other competing browsers.

In the mobile front, Android’s standing was stronger at the end of 2012 than it was at the beginning, putting it in a comfortable second spot of 22%. Opera mini saw decline through the year, but made a noticeable uptick to keep itself above a 10% share at the year’s end. Microsoft’s place on the mobile web is noteworthy because for the first time in years, it broke more than 1% at the end of 2012. Yes, that is still miniscule, but that is an indicator of strong growth, since 1% of a larger market compared to two years ago may indicate that Windows Phone is gaining some traction. Symbian is still moving the needle with 0.77%, BlackBerry is a point higher at 1.77%.  Safari dominates with over 60% share of the mobile browser landscape.

In desktop browsers, Internet Explorer maintained it dominance thanks to continued strength in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9, giving it an overall market share of about 55%. Firefox held on to second place at just under 20% while Chrome gained a sliver of ground to just a hair over 18%. The rest of the field (Safari, Opera, etc) were all well under 10%.

The interesting news lies with Microsoft, despite its minute, yet significant gain in mobile, and its commanding hold in the desktop overall, according to data from Net Market Share, Windows 8 registered 1.72% compared to 45% for Windows 7 and 39% for Windows XP, which is not a stellar showing for Windows 8.  Akamai is not identifying Internet Explorer 10 in its statistics yet, but is registering an “unknown” browser, noting a sharp increase on Christmas day from 1.3% to 2.4%. That may mean a bunch of Surface tablets and Windows 8 computers got unwrapped.

Double-click the images to zoom-in if you want a closer look.

source: Ars Technica



40. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 896; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

I dont believe this..!!!! The sale for Android is much more than Iphones. How can this be true? Are they counting Safari as 5 points for each user & Android as 1/2 points for each user.???? Clearly a higher no. of android phones means higher no. of Android browsers. This is the limit of being biased towards Iphone.!!!!! On desktops IE is ruling, but the topic of the article is "Safari....".. Totally being biased to Iphone....!!!!!

36. mcgrd

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

i used IE to download firefox then made firefox my default browser =)

33. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

haha, obviously safari would win.. 30% of android shows up as safari, the other 40% shows as desktop browser, and 30% more shows as any other browsers, the rest then shows up as android browsers..

32. jaoowolabi

Posts: 201; Member since: Jun 07, 2012


31. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I'm happy with my FIRE FOX THANKS. I need and want flash to play back videos and play flash games on the web browser. I don't want Apple to control what i want to watch. And I hardly even use Internet Explorer.

27. opensourceftw

Posts: 148; Member since: Jan 01, 2013

Safari is hands down the biggest POS browser I have ever used, without a doubt.

25. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Internet Explorer 10 rocks. Can't wait to buy WP 8 device :D

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I have used the safari browser and it is better on an ipad due to its large screen, but slower loading than chrome on a high end android phone or tablet.

19. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Why would anyone use Internet Explorer, when Firefox and Chrome are much more secure and more efficient to use?

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Not trying to start anything, but one thing that may be corrupting this data is how they recognize an android browser set to mobile rather than desktop. When I tried it on a few phones in the past, if I had it set to desktop mode (ie just like on a desktop PC's browser with no mobile versions of a website and full flash) it recognized it as an android browser. When it was set to mobile (this time viewing mobile versions of websites where available) it said I was using a Safari browser. The problem is your average consumer doesn't get in and tinker with mobile vs. desktop settings, so in that case it maybe skewing the data in favor of Safari. But that's assuming that they're still using the same setup as they had previously. The only way would be to test it out and see if that flaw still occurs.

17. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

That's pretty sad, I thought chrome overtook IE months ago.

28. Giggity

Posts: 147; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

IE leading the traffic for desktop browser chart is no brainer, just like the users whom using it. What surprise me how Firefox still have supporters after all of the lackluster "improvement" over the past 4 years.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31811; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It's funny that anytime apple wins, or leads a catagorey certain members of android nation quickly jump on the article, and refute it, claim the site can't b trusted and what not. When android wins, or leads a catagorey it's all good though. Just deal with the fact that iOS is super strong n the mobile world, it's an inhouse OS, but very stable and good to use. I use both android, and iOS on a regular basis, and both are simply awesome, and both have their hiccups and hangups that I don't like. Overall they r the top 2 for a reason. Stop being a hater, and just deal with the fact that android is great but not perfect, iOS is great but not perfect. People use. And love both on the regular... I know I do.

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

you keep telling us this...repeating it in hopes of being believed....

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 31811; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I can care less what u believe. I love my iPhone its a sweet device. Believe that.

24. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, so, then do not fret over all of this on phonearena as it gets old after awhile. My wife has an iphone, she has had the 4S for a year. She tells me the camera is not as good as it used to be, and I agree as it has issues adjusting to light. I believe it is a good mid ranged phone, just too small for me. My kids love their 32GB ipods and their original ipad is popular for game playing, such as the Hobbit or Skylanders. The point being is that we constantly here reports about mobile traffic and everyone, who knows a little something, knows that these reports are flawed, to some degree. Personally, I do not see why Phonearena keeps reporting this irrevelant junk, but that is phonearena. BTW, you may want to start using chrome on your PC or MAC (will chrome work on MAC), as phonearena allows 13 companies to track what you are doing. With chrome, they get all blocked.

26. opensourceftw

Posts: 148; Member since: Jan 01, 2013

It's "couldn't care less". How so many people misuse this phrase I will never understand.

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 31811; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep you're rite

11. ogy_dogy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

When i think of all the ie jokes and how chrome is better, lol... Microsoft shows everyone how its done... like a boss

10. Shino

Posts: 196; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

No surprise at all. Everything is normal with this statistics.

7. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

The thought of safari makes my wanna vomit. AOSP browser with flash all the way.

6. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I'd prefer not to see anymore of these mobile browser market share articles until they can account for "desktop mode". In my household there are 4 Android devices that show up as Safari 90% of the time, the other 10% of time showing up as Opera Mobile or Mini when I get a wild hair and go back to giving that a try. Caveats like this render these articles meaningless.

5. wendygarett unregistered

I'm a Firefox user :)

4. ArsTechnicaStupidio

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

I really hope the author of this article would put disclaimer in their post.. something like this: "... that's according to ars technica, but the number really look different in statcounter"

3. ArsTechnicaStupidio

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

I was wondering if Ars Technica were lowering (payed by MS) their status to something like Pyramid Analyst who claimed that WP will have 30% market share in 2013.

9. PurrPurr

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

You clearly have never visited or read Ars Technica. They are far more reputable and serious than PhoneArena. They have Real journalists, not these hobby tech bloggers.

2. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

nonsense, lies, real usage: probably paid by Google haters....time to accept reality :)

8. PurrPurr

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

That must make you paid by Google? Anyway, Statcounter uses a flawed method for counting web traffic, a flaw which Chrome thrives upon.,2817,2404714,00.asp From the source: "The real problem is just what StatCounter counts: pre-rendered Web pages that the user never saw. When a Chrome user types in a Google search, Chrome pre-loads an invisible tab in the background. StatCounter still counts this as a page view. By comparison, Net Applications removes these artificial results." That is why the results differ so much throughout all the statistics depending on source.

12. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

"pre-rendered Web pages that the user never saw" you is not true and if you think a little, you can see that in the past is the trend the same (simply steadily growing) and then Chrome didn't pre-rendered pages ;)

13. PurrPurr

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Steadily growing and beating IE is not the same thing. Bing has also been steadily growing for years, has it then by your definition beaten Google? That sounds great, congrats to Microsoft! And if what I (they) said was a lie, at least give me a link to prove it :)

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