I’ve been thinking a lot about device classes recently, and decided on a provisional four-class scheme. I have no idea if the scheme is going to survive, but we have to at least try to order the bewildering variety of devices somewhat.
While I was at it I also gathered data from StatCounter about the browsing shares of these device classes.
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The four device classes are:
These four categories fall into three markets:
In general people buy a mobile device first, then a computing device, then one or more other devices. In the developing world, that usually means people only have a mobile device. Hence the immense change in browsing we’re witnessing.
With that said, here are the general browsing stats. I use hundredths of percentage points here because some shares are very low. I don’t really like doing that, because it suggests a precisions that StatCounter’s figures do not have, and I’m going to change my methodology later on.
Interestingly, it turns out that the growth of mobile browsing has collapsed in Q4. Where earlier mobile browsing grew with over a percentage point per quarter, in Q4 it grew very little. Let’s see if this is a trend or an outlier before we comment on it.
As to tablets, its rate of growth is itself growing. That’s nothing surprising: the tablet market is growing vigorously, and that is reflected in its browsing shares.
Which browsers do tablet users use? Nobody will be particularly surprised to hear that Safari for iPad leads with an immense percentage. Its share is going down, but that’s only because it has very little room to go up.
Keep in mind that we’re using very small numbers here, especially for BlackBerry. If the total share of tablet grows, I expect these numbers to starts to fluctuate.
StatCounter reports slightly less Android browsers than Android OSs. I assume most of these non-default Android browsers to be Opera. The Safari/iOS numbers match perfectly, so very, very few iPad users use a non-default browser.
|Opera and others||1%||0||1%||0||1%||+1||0|
Here are the four device classes in my twelve countries. The table clearly shows rather large differences between these countries. Unsurprisingly, developing countries have a high mobile share and a low share of the other three classes.
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