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Chrome finishes top in 2012, Mobile struggling to gain users

2012 is now overand it was an important year for Google Chrome. Finally overtaking Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in usage share and releasing a mobile version of Chrome for Android and iOS.

According to StatCounter, which tracks usage share of operating systems and browsers; it has reported this year that Google Chrome has finally overtaken Internet Explorer. Chrome started 2012 with a usage share of 28.4%, with Mozilla Firefox at 24.8% and Internet Explorer at 37.5%. By May, Chrome had became the number 1 browser with 32.4% and Internet Explorer at 32.1%.

Chrome continued to grow over 2012, finally reaching 36.4% by December, with Internet Explorer at 30.8%. While Internet Explorer lost 7% over 12 moths, Firefox also lost usage share failing by 3% down to 21.9%. Interestingly, Safari also gained usage share in 2012, from 6.6% in January to 7.9% by December. Opera continue their fall from 1.9% down to 1.2%. It appears WebKit-based browser is the hot choice at the moment.

While Google has had great success with Chrome on the desktop, mobile has been less than impressive. Chrome for Android was launched in February, with the iOS version released in June. One thing to note, Android browser relates to the built-in web browser in the Android OS itself, the stats include Android 1.0 to 4.2, Chrome is a separate browser.

Chrome for mobile has struggled to gain traction over Android browser, Safari Mobile and Opera Mobile. Starting with 0% in February, it only managed to secure 1.5% by December. Chrome for mobile has a difficult market to break into. On the Apple side, many iOS users are generally happy with the Safari browser, so it will be difficult to convert users. On Android, Chrome already has problems since it can only be installed on Android device with version 4.0 and above, this cuts out about 65% of devices, since most run Android 2.3 and below. As more Android devices move to Android 4.0 and 4.1, we should start seeing Chrome for Android to increase in usage share.

Safari for Mobile still holds the majority usage share with 60% up from 55% back in January. The Android browser has seen steady growth over 2012, from 17.8% to 22.1%. While Opera still generates reasonable interest with 10%, although it has fallen from 20%, although this maybe down to the trend of people moving to smartphones, most Opera users are using “dumbphones”.

  • Maxime Poulin

    Android Stock browser and Chrome Mobile are almost the same, but the stock one works really nicely and is a bit snappier that Chrome. Both are Webkit based, which is also the base of Safari, Chrome and the Android stock browser.

    Also, iOS Chrome is more or less the Apple’s browser with a different UI.

    Chrome is not very likely to be really popular in the mobile world for now, and it doesn’t bring anything interesting compared to the stock browers on phones (which are usually tuned for the hardware too, compared to a generic Chrome build for Android that has to work on as much phones as possible).

    • Ed Hewitt

      While Android stock browser is probably quicker than Chrome, I think Google are committed to sort the issue out. A major update to Chrome for Android should be out in the next few weeks to improve the performance. Chrome for Android does provide some major advances over Android stock browser, such as tab syncing and better tab management.

      • It’s not probably quicker. Scrolling while slightly better in a recent update is still garbage on Chrome verses Stock, and general responisveness isn’t much better. Plus Stock allows for flash and Chrome doesn’t.

        As much as stab syncing and such is great (ditto for FF mobile) the performance just isn’t there. That’s what happens when you release Chrome for Android and then hardly update it the rest of the year.

        Yes supposedly this is all going to be fixed, but we’ve heard this for a while now. I think most users are in a well will all get on that bandwagon when the time comes. Until then most will stick with Stock. Plus Stock is preinstalled verses Chrome on most devices.

    • fasdfasdf

      I do like that Chrome syncs up my bookmarks from my desktop, and even my tab history to my iPhone.

  • James McManus

    chrome needs to be lighter and available to more users.

  • prankstare

    I don’t know. I’ve been using those three browsers and Chrome does seem to be the fastest, but does not feel as sturdy as Mozilla Firefox. Also, reading texts on Firefox is much better out of all three.

  • Firefox

    Google is advertising chrome on its website and on other applications. Not fair to firefox.