Mobile browser stats for July

Here are the July mobile browser stats. The StatCounter change has been fully integrated, which means we’re back to normal but with a few extra browsers in the long tail.

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The main news this month is that Android finally passes Nokia and becomes the third-largest mobile browser. It has taken its time; I’ve been expecting this ever since April or so.

Other than that not much happens. NetFront wins a point after recovering from a StatCounter bug and is back to its customary 4%; Opera loses a point but is still clearly ahead of Safari for the second month in a row, and there are some minor changes at the bottom of the market.

All in all yet another boring month.

Global browser stats, July 2011
Browser July 2011 ch June 2011 Remarks
Opera 22% -1 23% Mini and Mobile combined
Safari 20% 0 20% iPhone and iPod Touch. iPad not included.
Android 18% +1 17% Includes 2.x tablets
Nokia 17% -1 18%
BlackBerry 12% 0 12%
NetFront 4% +1 3%
Obigo 1% 0 1% For LG phones as well as Brew MP. Version 10 is WebKit-based
Jasmine 1% 0 1% Samsung NetFront-based and early WebKit-based
Dolfin 1% 0 1% Samsung bada
UC 1% 0 1% Chinese proxy browser
Samsung 1% +1 0 Samsung’s non-Android, non-Jasmine, non-Dolfin browsers
Other 2% -1 3%
Volatility 3%
WebKit 57% 0 57% Safari, Nokia, Android, Dolfin, 10% of BlackBerry
Mobile 7% 0 7% Mobile browsing as percentage of all browsing


Let’s spice things up by doing a year-over-year comparison for July. The main conclusion must be that Android won an immense amount of market share, and that most of it comes form Opera and Safari. Surprising.

Year-over-year July browser stats
Browser July 2011 ch July 2010 Remarks
Opera 22% -2 24% Mini and Mobile combined
Safari 20% -4 24% iPhone and iPod Touch. iPad not included.
Android 18% +10 8% Includes 2.x tablets
Nokia 17% 0 17%
BlackBerry 12% -4 16%
NetFront 4% 0 4%
Samsung 3% +2 1% Samsung’s non-Android browsers
Obigo 1% +1 -
UC 1% 0 1% Chinese proxy browser
Sony PSP 0 -1 1% PlayStation Portable. NetFront-based
Openwave 0 -1 1%
Bolt 0 -1 1% WebKit-based proxy browser
Palm 0 -1 1%
Other 2% +1 1%
Volatility 14%
WebKit 57% +7 50% Safari, Nokia, Android, Bolt
Mobile 7% +4 3% Mobile browsing as percentage of all browsing

More interesting is the long tail. Four browsers that still marginally made the threshold a year ago have now all but disappeared globally: Sony PlayStation, Openwave, Bolt, and Palm. Instead, the Samsung browsers, Obigo and UC now rule the long-tail roost.

Also interesting is that in one year the Big Five have retained exactly 89% of the market. The story of the past twelve months is one of the shifts within the Big Five. The other browsers don’t matter all that much — yet.

Finally, take a look at the last row. Mobile browsing has more than doubled in importance in a year: from 3% of all browsing to 7%. That’s growth.

Browsers by OS

Let’s spice up things even more and assign specific browser percentages to specific OSs. Which browser, exactly, do the Symbian users use?

This is necessarily a rough estimate; I don’t want to use fractions, and I’m not totally certain of the exact spread of Opera and NetFront among the various OSs. So what follows is only an indication.

OSs and browsers, July 2011
OS July 2011 OS vendor Opera Other
Symbian 32% 17% 15% -
iOS 20% 20% - -
Android 19% 18% 1% -
BlackBerry 12% 12% - -
Unknown 6% - 5% 1%
Samsung 6% 3% 1% 2%
Other 5% - - 5%
Total 100% 70% 22% 8%

iOS and BlackBerry are easy: there is so little mismatch between OS and browser figures that other browsers (mainly Opera) don’t even make it to 1%.

Symbian and Android are also easy. There is a mismatch between OS and browser figures (in the case of Symbian a significant mismatch), but the only browser that can possibly fill it up is Opera. That accounts for 16 of Opera’s 22%; and also for Nokia’s dislike of Opera.

From here on things get more sketchy. I give the larger part of the Unknown OS to Opera, because Opera Mini does not always give platform information, which forces StatCounter to count it as Unknown. Still, I give the Other browsers a little bit, too.

As to Samsung and the other OSs, this is more guesswork than anything else. I give Opera a little share here, but the main share goes to the other browsers, especially NetFront.

I’m working with various browser vendors to get a better idea of what’s going on in the long tail of the market. I hope to be able to make better guesses next month.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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