With the proliferation of smartphones and other cellphones capable of accessing the Internet, it’s become interesting to look at mobile browser usage in the context of smartphone marketshare.
As in the desktop browser space, 2012 has been an interesting year for mobile browsers, with market share statistics companies NetApplications and StatCounters giving their different perspective on the market.
The NetMarketshare index from NetApplications uses a metric that looks at the unique visitors to the websites it tracks and then weights it according to the number of Internet users in a country.
StatCounter, on the other hand, uses the raw pageviews on the sites it tracks to determine the marketshare percentages on its site.
The default Android browser showed tremendous growth by both measures, though the disagree on how well Google’s platform is doing in relation to Apple’s Safari browser for iOS devices.
According to NetMarketshare, Android overtook Opera’s mobile browser in market share in February 2012. StatCounter’s figures show that this happened in June 2012.
StatCounter also shows that users on the default Android browser generate more pageviews than Safari does, while NetMarketshare puts Safari firmly ahead of Android.
In South Africa Android also had a big year, overtaking both the iPhone and Nokia, according to StatCounter.
Opera’s mobile browser remains firmly in the lead in South Africa.