Google Chrome usage growing fast; Apple ahead on mobile web

Looking at my browser stats for February one thing stands out: Google Chrome. The top five browsers are these:

  1. Internet Explorer 40.5%
  2. Firefox 34.1%
  3. Chrome 10.5%
  4. Safari 4.3%
  5. Opera 2.9%

Chrome usage has more than doubled in six months, on this site.

I don’t pretend this is representative of the web as a whole, though I suspect it is a good leading indicator because of the relatively technical readership. Note that although I post a lot about Microsoft, IE usage here is below that on the web as a whole. Here are the figures from NetMarketShare for February:

  1. Internet Explorer 61.58%
  2. Firefox 24.23%
  3. Chrome 5.61%
  4. Safari 4.45%
  5. Opera 2.35%

and from  statcounter:

  1. Internet Explorer 54.81%
  2. Firefox 31.29%
  3. Chrome 6.88%
  4. Safari 4.16%
  5. Opera 1.94%

There are sizeable variations (so distrust both), but similar trends: gradual decline for IE, Firefox growing slightly, Chrome growing dramatically. Safari I suspect tracks Mac usage closely, a little below because some Mac users use Firefox. Mobile is interesting too, here’s StatCounter:

  1. Opera 24.26
  2. iPhone 22.5
  3. Nokia 16.8
  4. Blackberry 11.29
  5. Android 6.27
  6. iTouch 10.87

Note that iPhone/iTouch would be top if combined. Note also the complete absence of IE: either Windows Mobile users don’t browse the web, or they use Opera to do so.

I’m most interested in how Chrome usage is gathering pace. There are implications for web applications, since Chrome has an exceptionally fast JavaScript engine. Firefox is fast too, but on my latest quick Sunspider test, Firefox 3.6 scored 998.2ms vs Chrome 4.0’s 588.4ms (lower is better). IE 8.0 is miserably slow on this of course; just for the record, 5075.2ms.

Why are people switching to Chrome? I’d suggest the following. First, it is quick and easy to install, and installs into the user’s home directory on Windows so does not require local administrative rights. Second, it starts in a blink, contributing to a positive impression. Third, Google is now promoting it vigorously – I frequently see it advertised. Finally, users just like it; it works as advertised, and generally does so quickly.

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Related posts:

  1. Google Chrome usage one month on
  2. Chrome browser memory usage: a good start
  3. Latest stats: Video web growing fast
  4. Google Chrome Mac and Linux arrives – may hurt Firefox more than Safari
  5. Apple iPad vs Windows Tablet vs Google Chrome OS

1 comment to Google Chrome usage growing fast; Apple ahead on mobile web

  • A lot of us Mac users use Chrome also – I use a Mac and can’t stand Safari. Just my preference though – I doubt I am representative of Mac users as a whole – I’m more of a UNIX/Linux guy and I use a Mac because it gives me the best of the Open and Closed source worlds in a nice convenient package.

    Interesting stats though – I used to just use Firefox religiously (on all 3 major platforms), however I’ve all but completely ditched it for Chrome now. I do tend to still use IE on Windows machines I don’t use often – IE 8 does work well and unless I use a machine constantly, I don’t see the value in the extra effort to install a different browser…plus, I keep IE as the default in my VMware Fusion based Windows machines because sometimes you just *need* IE.