Browser Wars: IE gains as others lose

October 2012 was an interesting month in the desktop browser space

By - November 8, 2012
FF IE Chrome

Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer (IE) browser has gained users, while Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari all lost users in October 2012, according to the Net Applications NetMarketshare index.

Internet Explorer’s market share (54.13%) is at its highest point since September 2011 (54.39%), NetMarketshare stats reveal.

IE9 broke the 20% market share mark, while IE8’s user base also climbed slightly in October 2012.

The browser usage numbers from StatCounter paint a different picture, however, but its worth noting that the two analytics companies have different methods of reporting their stats.

StatCounter says on its website that it uses raw pageviews for its statistics, whereas Net Applications uses unique visitors weighted by the number of Internet users in a country.

The table below shows the different market share statistics as reported by the two companies, along with StatCounter’s report of browser usage in South Africa.

Desktop browser stats: 2012 October
Browser Net Applications: Global StatCounter: Global StatCounter: South Africa
Internet Explorer 54.13% 32.08% 46.63%
Chrome 18.55% 34.77% 23.04%
Firefox 19.99% 22.32% 19.19%
Safari 5.21% 7.81% 8.17%
Opera 1.63% 1.63% 1.06%
Other 0.49% 1.39% 1.91%
StatCounter global browser usage share: October 2012

StatCounter global browser usage share: October 2012

One possible conclusion that can be drawn from the difference between Net Applications and StatCounter’s figures is that although there are more individual users of Internet Explorer, users of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browse more web pages.

Unfortunately this can’t be said with certainty as the two companies gather and analyse their own sets of data.

However, the browser usage statistics on MyBroadband are in line with this hypothesis that Internet Explorer has a far lower market share when measuring pageviews rather than unique users.

The table below summaries the visitor and pageview percentages by browser according to MyBroadband’s October 2012 Google Analytics report:

MyBroadband browser stats: October 2012
Browser Visits Pageviews
Chrome 34.04% 37.73%
Internet Explorer 25.55% 21.78%
Firefox 21.84% 26.84%
Safari 10.23% 7.53%
Opera Mini 2.73% 1.93%
Android Browser 2.05% 1.42%
Safari (in-app) 0.93% 0.49%
Other 2.63% 2.28%

Browser Wars: Stats for September 2012

Chrome overtakes Firefox in SA

Google Chrome overtakes Microsoft Internet Explorer

Browser wars escalate in the mobile space

Mobile wars make tough calls for publishers

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