Web browsers are still the primary way we connect to the endless fields of data, stories and videos that make up the modern web. Today, Apple Safari on smartphones – thanks to iPhone – and Google Chrome on the desktop are the ways we work and play on the web.
Historically, it has been difficult to get data on which browsers are actually the most popular web browsers. Yes, many companies claim to have good numbers, such as NetMarketShare and StatCounterbut theirs Number gets massaged. United States Federal Government Digital Analytics Program (DAP)however, give us a total number of visits to US government websites in the last 90 days. That doesn’t tell us much about web browser usage globally, but it’s the best information we have about US web browser users today.
This drop did not come from any sudden increase in edge or another alternative browser. No need to think. On the desktop, the rules of Chrome.
However, over the past 12 months, we have seen a significant increase in smartphones versus PCs for web use. In 2022, 54% of the web browsing market belongs to smartphones instead of PCs. Back in 2019 and 2020, desktop smartphones grew from 46.9% to 50%. Today, smartphones are the rule.
Attention website designers: if you’re not developing smartphone sites, you’re making a big mistake. Tablet? The tablet market is only 1.8%.
For smartphones, Safari’s rules. Macs are a bit more popular, having taken up 10.4% of the PC market as of 2021. But with a 35% share, the iPhone dominates both the smartphone and smartphone browser markets. Indeed, the iPhone’s iOS is currently the most popular end-user operating system.
All Windows types combined account for only 31.1%.
Android? It has only 20.7% share The only other major smartphone browsers, aside from Safari and Chrome, are Samsung’s built-in Samsung Internet with a small 1.1% market share and Android Webview in general.
For desktop web browsers, Chrome is even bigger than it seems at first glance. Its open source platform, Chromium, which is also what Microsoft Edge run. Edge, with 6.7% of its user base, is currently the third web browser. Except Mozilla Firefoxall other things major web browsers, such as Opera, Vivaldi and Brave, run on Chromium.
Firefox is in 4th place and doing very badly. Over the past 12 months, Firefox has dropped to 2.6% from 2.7% last year. In 2015, when I first started using DAP numbers, Firefox has 11% market share. By 2016, Firefox has dropped to 8.2%. It used to be slightly increased in 2018 to 9%. Despite having an advertising transaction with Google, Mozilla has laid off more employees. Honestly, Firefox is becoming irrelevant.
Finally, at last, the dying Internet Explorer (IE) has finally been completely dropped from the list. It has gone from 2.2% in 2021 to be in the category that also runs alongside others at 1.9%.
In a nutshell, the internet today belongs to Chrome on desktop and Safari on smartphones. Nothing else really matters.