Local mobile browser markets: Nigeria

It’s instructive to take a good look at some local mobile browser market stats, as always by StatCounter. Today we treat Nigeria.

In Nigeria nearly three out of four website hits come from a mobile browser. From Q2 to Q3, especially, this overall mobile market share grew tremendously. I thought Nigeria had reached a plateau at about 60% in mid=2012, but this turns out not to be true. This begs the question how much market share mobile in general can take. 90%? 99%?

As to the specific browsers: although StatCounter doesn’t allow us to know with absolute certainty, I suspect that the top three browsers are so popular because they are proxy browsers — browsers that leave the interpreting and rendering to the server and only show the resulting page. This process saves their users a lot of money, both because an old device is sufficient to run a proxy client, and because they essentially get one image instead of a full web page, which leads to low data usage.

Opera here must mean Opera Mini; Nokia must mean Xpress, its Gecko-based proxy browser, and I suspect most of UC’s market share also comes from its proxy browser (which doesn’t have a separate name).

UC? UC. It’s the largest browser in China, and it’s expanding prodigiously across the developing world. Better get to know it if you’re building international sites.

Within the proxy browsing market, UC is eating Opera’s and Nokia’s lunch. It’s a pity we don’t have more details about this process.

The fourth to seventh browsers, taking 6% of the market combined, are certainly not proxy browsers, but the full browsers now have at most about 10% of the market. I suppose their share could grow a bit more, but I doubt they’ll hit the 50% mark, or even the 25% mark, quickly.

Proxy browsers are important. Not in your country, but in others.

Mobile browser stats for Nigeria
Browser Q3 2013 ch Q2 2013 ch Q1 2013 ch Q4 2012
Opera 57% -2 59% -2 61% -2 63%
UC 27% +5 22% +1 21% +3 18%
Nokia 10% -2 12% -1 13% -1 14%
Android 3% -1 4% +2 2% 0 2%
BlackBerry 1% 0 1% 0 1% 0 1%
Safari 1% 0 1% 0 1% 0 1%
IE 1% +1 - - - - -
Other 0 -1 1% 0 1% 0 1%
Volatility 6% 3% 3%
Mobile 73% +10 63% +3 60% +2 58%

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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