We continue our survey of the mobile browser market shares of twelve countries: Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Korea, the UK, and the US. In all countries I studied the Q4 2010 aggregate stats and compared them to the Q3 ones. At the end of this article are some methodological notes.
We’ll continue to work in order of relative size of the mobile web. In part 1 we discussed Nigeria, India, and Indonesia, and in this part we treat the top-three developed nations: the US, the UK, and South Korea, where the mobile web accounts for respectively 6, 5, and 4% of total web traffic. Figures, as usual, come from StatCounter.
Where in part 1 the browser market was Opera-dominated, today we’ll see a totally different situation, with Android, Safari, and (in the US and UK) BlackBerry vying for the top position and Opera relegated to minor status.
The most important reason that Opera is a minor browser is that the users don’t need a proxy browser. They usually have quite decent data plans, and don’t see any reason to download a new browser to their phone.
Now that we’re entering a more complicated part of the market it’s time for more precise definitions:
With 6% the US has the highest mobile share of the industrialised countries. (OK, I admit I did not check every single country, but I did check quite a few, and none of them were higher than the US’s 6%.)
It’s interesting that the US market in no way complies with the Big Picture pushed by the US blogosphere, where iPhone is dominant but threatened by #2 Android, and BlackBerry is irrelevant. I advise the iPhone and Android fans to shout louder: you aren’t being heard where it counts.
In fact. the US mobile browser market is a tight three-way race between Safari, BlackBerry, and Android, with the latter behind but showing the strongest growth. Right now it’s still Safari first, BlackBerry second, Android third, but if the present trends continue that order will be reversed by the end of the year.
Just like Android, BlackBerry is growing, though much more slowly than in Q1 2010. Safari, on the other hand, is declining: not because less people use iPhones, but because the non-iPhone part of the mobile web grows harder than the iPhone part.
So much for BlackBerry’s irrelevancy. It had one very real problem, though: the browser. With these figures in mind it becomes clear why a WebKit-based browser was a top priority for RIM. Their old browser is really crap.
|WebKit||61%||+3||Safari, Nokia, Android, 5% of BlackBerry|
|Mobile||6%||+2||Highest for a developed country|
The UK resembles the US, except that Android is a lot smaller and BlackBerry is the leading browser, having taken over from Safari in the past quarter.
Assuming that Android grows as quickly as in comparable countries, we can expect a three-way race in the UK, too. And the trends don’t favour Safari here, either.
|WebKit||54%||+2||Safari, Nokia, Android, 5% of BlackBerry|
|Mobile||5%||+1||Mobile browsing as percentage of all browsing|
South Korea, finally, has a totally different browser make-up. Android is at 82% market share, which is the highest share of any single browser in the twelve studied countries.
The total share of the mobile web went up by nearly 300% in the last quarter, and I think this enormous growth was caused by the Galaxy, which is wildly popular in Samsung’s home country. The other browsers have been decimated, and the miracle is that the iPhone stayed relevant at all.
Interesting, too, is that the Samsung browser (non-Android; mostly bada) is completely absent, where it is building a modest following in the countries we’ll treat in parts 3 and 4. Apparently bada doesn’t work for the Korean market. Or there’s one more methodological error.
I would like to have more information about South Korea.
|WebKit||97%||+3||Safari, Nokia, Android|
I use StatCounter as a source. Links to the detailed sources are added to each country.
In part 3 we’ll take a look at South America, China, and some absolute numbers.
Upcoming speaking gigs: