By Brent McLean - Lead Consultant, Paragon Consulting

With 2013 just starting it’s good to see what’s changed over the last year. Since I work with web development I like to see what’s changed in the world of web browsers, both desktop and mobile. It helps us plan how we will build our websites for the future and might help you as well.

 

So, here are the changes in browser usage and relevant trends for 2012 according to StatCounter’s North American web browsing numbers….

 

Desktop/Tablet Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer: 39% (down 8%)
    • IE 10: 1%
    • IE 9: 25% (up 10%)
    • IE 8: 12% (down 15%)
    • IE 7: 1% (down 4%)
  • Chrome: 28% (up 7%)
  • Firefox: 18% (down 3%)
  • Safari: 14% (up 3%)

 

Chrome continues its climb, while Internet Explorer withers. Safari is also up, but almost entirely because of increased iPad usage.

 

Tablet Usage:

  • Tablet percentage of overall desktop browsing: 6% (up 3%)
  • Tablet Browsing Breakout:
    • iPad: 5% (up 3%)
    • Android : 0.6% (up 0.4%)
    • Silk (Amazon Kindle Fire): 0.3%

 

Tablet share of the market continues to grow quickly. Of those tablets, the iPad is the undisputed champion when it comes to browsing.

 

Desktop/Tablet Operating Systems:

  • Windows: 79% (down 5%)
    • Windows XP: 16% (down 10%)
    • Windows Vista: 10% (down 6%)
    • Windows 7: 51% (up 9%)
    • Windows 8/RT: 2%
  • Mac OS X: 14% (up 1%)
  • iOS tablet (iPad): 5% (up 3%)
  • Android (tablet): 0.6% (up 0.4%)

 

Windows slowly loses market share, primarily to the increase in tablet usage.

 

Mobile Operating System (based on browsing):

  • Android: 39% (up 2%)
  • iOS: 49% (up 8%)
  • Blackberry: 3% (down 6%)
  • Windows: 1.3% (up 0.4%)

 

Despite the large number of people buying Android phones, iPhones are still more likely to be browsing your site. Blackberry continues to plummet and Windows Mobile isn’t gaining much traction yet. Keep in mind these numbers are for North America and would likely show higher Android numbers for other markets.

 

Mobile Browsing vs. Desktop Browsing:

  • 13% mobile (up 5%)

 

13% of the market share is mobile phones. That doesn’t include tablets. If you did the total would be 19%. This is why it is so important to have a mobile strategy for your website.