Local mobile browser markets: South Korea

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

The growth of mobile browsing in South Korea has stalled. It was 28% at the end of last year, and after a rise it has fallen back to the same level in Q3. Why? I don’t know. Maybe there is a plateau for mobile browsing market share of 3 in 10 in developed nations, and South Korea has reached it. Or maybe it’s just a temporary glitch.

Browser-wise South Korea is the most lopsided market in the world, with Android WebKit taking 85%. Why? Because Samsung is a Korean company and has home-market advantage. (So is LG, but that company is less important.)

The bits that Android WebKit didn’t scoop up were iPhone territory. That’s probably still the case, but I think Android users are slowly shifting away from Android WebKit.

Chrome is on the rise, and my guess is that this is not the downloadable Chrome, but the default Chrome 18 that’s built into the Galaxy S4 and all later Galaxies. So Chrome may not exactly be what you expect.

Also, we see Puffin at 3%. I’m afraid that I’d never even heard of Puffin before looking at these stats, so I’m not yet sure where it stands. A quick install-and-test on Android reveals that it has its own rendering engine, and does not use Android WebView, and that it has a very stable zoom — one of the stablest I’ve seen, in fact. Unfortunately it has several problems in the meta viewport, and Patrick Lauke discovered it doesn’t support the touch events. More news later, when I’ve actually tested it.

Mobile browser stats for South Korea
Browser Q3 2013 ch Q2 2013 ch Q1 2013 ch Q4 2012
Android 85% -3 88% -2 90% +1 89%
Safari 8% -1 9% 0 9% -1 10%
Chrome 4% +2 2% +1 1% +1 -
Puffin 3% +3 - - - - -
Other 0 -1 1% +1 0 -1 1%
Volatility 5% 2% 2%
Mobile 28% -3 31% -3 34% +6 28%

Other countries in this series: Nigeria | India | Indonesia

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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