2010 mobile browser stats

Here are the mobile browser traffic market share figures from StatCounter. This entry gives the stats for December 2010, Q4 2010, and all of 2010, and compares them to November, Q3, and 2009. I plan to repeat this feature each month, and to report quarterly and yearly figures when appropriate. (Not that you need me; you can easily crunch the data for yourself.)

Results

The yearly results are the real eye-opener: in 2010 mobile browsing accounted for 3% of all browsing. That’s not a whole lot, but compare it to 2009, when only 1% of website traffic came from mobile devices. 2010 has seen a tripling of the mobile share.

Safari lost 9% of market share this year, and all WebKit-based browsers combined lost 5%. I expected Safari to lose ground: more and more non-iPhone users go surfing, too. I didn’t expect Safari to lose quite this much, though. And I certainly did not expect WebKit as a whole to lose market share. The WebKit downward movement is being halted in recent months, though.

Predictably, Android is on a major winning streak: its market share tripled during 2010. BlackBerry, however, doubled its share, and that fact has received far less attention. Android’s growth can be explained by exploding sales, but BlackBerry’s can’t. Apparently BlackBerry users started to surf the web more in 2010.

Incidentally, it’s mostly the advent of BlackBerry that caused WebKit to go down. Once BB6, which is WebKit-based, gains relative to the older BlackBerry browsers, the downward trend of WebKit will be reversed.

Nokia slowly slides downward. Make no mistake, though: it could just as easily win hugely in 2011 because Symbian users go online, just as BlackBerry users have done. On the other hand, they might not. Or they could download Opera.

Opera is slowly losing ground. See its market shares: over the year: 24%, over the quarter: 22%, over the month: 20%. Opera is the browser of choice of non-smartphone users, and they are declining relative to smartphone users.

Month

Here are the figures for December 2010, compared to those for November 2010.

Browser Share Change Remarks
Safari 23% +1 iPhone and iPod Touch. iPad not included.
Opera 20% -2 Mini and Mobile combined
BlackBerry 18% -1 WebKit-based BB6 browser still marginal
Nokia 16% -1
Android 13% +2 This figure might include Android tablets. On the other hand, it might not.
NetFront 4% 0
Samsung 2% +1 All non-Android Samsung browsers (mainly bada)
UCWeb 1% 0 Most popular mobile browser in China
Other 3% 0 IE, Obigo, Gecko-based, Palm, etc.
WebKit 54% +3 Safari, Nokia, Android, Samsung
Mobile 4% 0 Mobile browsing as percentage of all browsing

Quarter

Here are the figures for Q4 2010, compared to those for Q3 2010:

Browser Share Change Remarks
Safari 23% -2
Opera 22% -2
BlackBerry 18% +1
Nokia 16% -1
Android 12% +3 Android is clearly on a winning streak
NetFront 4% 0
Samsung 1% 0
UCWeb 1% 0
Other 3% +1
WebKit 52% 0 Safari, Nokia, Android, Samsung
Mobile 4% +1 Mobile browsing as percentage of all browsing

Year

And finally the figures for 2010 as a whole, compared to those for 2009 as a whole:

Browser Share Change Remarks
Safari 25% -9 The big loser. More and more non-iPhone-users surf the web, too.
Opera 24% -1 Slow decline. I think it’s mostly due to the disappointing Q4 figures.
BlackBerry 16% +8 Doubled
Nokia 16% -3
Android 9% +6 Tripled
NetFront 4% -1
Samsung 1% +1
UCWeb 1% +1
Other 4% -2
WebKit 51% -5 Safari, Nokia, Android, Samsung
Mobile 3% +2 TRIPLED!

In 2009 Sony PSP (NetFront-based) and Openwave still held 2% of the market each, while Samsung and UCWeb weren’t big enough yet to be counted separately.

Methodology

I use StatCounter as a source. As soon as I say that the following dialogue ensues:

Someone
StatCounter is teh suxorz
Me
Know of any other data source?
Someone
[... crickets ...]

So I use StatCounter.

  1. I took the Mobile Browsers bar graph in the relevant period. (Example: yearly figures)
  2. I ignored all browsers that had less than one full percentage point of market share, as well as StatCounter’s Other category.
  3. I added the iPhone and iPod Touch entries to come to the Safari share.
  4. I took the percentages and rounded them to the nearest whole point.
  5. That gave me the current browser market share which I show in the table.
  6. I gave my Other category all points that were still missing from the 100.
  7. I repeated the procedure for the comparison period, and calculated the change in market share for all browsers. Again, any change left was for the Other category.
  8. I repeated this procedure for Mobile vs. Desktop in the relevant period and the comparison period to get the Mobile browsing total and change.

The major drawback of this method is that changes in small market shares may look inflated due to rounding. However, the advantage is that it takes me less time. Besides, I don’t want to pretend my figures are precise enough to give two decimals, as StatCounter does.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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