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Adobe Crowns Google Chrome World’s Most Popular Browser

Chrome for Android UndoGoogle Chrome is the world’s most used browser on desktops and mobile devices, a new report from Adobe Digital Index (ADI) claims.

But while it’s never sensible to put too much stock in most claims that one browser being ‘more popular’ than another because of differences in data collection, bias and methodology, the April ADI report is a little different.

Most companies serve up contradictory tracking stats once a month using data sourced from a small pool of specific sites, but the ADI report encompasses a far more diverse set, with more than 10,000 consumer-facing websites.

Results are based on “aggregate and anonymous data across retail, media, entertainment, financial service, and travel Web sites” with browsers detected using Adobe Analytics. It’s this diversity that gives the report a great deal of credence.

So what is it saying exactly? From 17 billion visits tracked to US websites from both mobile AND desktop browsers during April 2014, the marketshare for the top three were as follows:

  • Chrome & Android Browser (combined) 31.8%
  • Internet Explorer (combined) 30.9%
  • Safari (combined) 25%

The stats show that Google Chrome has overtaken its long-standing dominant rival Internet Explorer for the crown of ‘world’s most popular browser’. Admittedly things are slightly skewed by lumping in the AOSP Android browser with Chrome (though recent builds are Chromium-based so it’s a moot point) and both Internet Explorer and Safari only do so well because of their dominance on desktop and mobile respectively.

usbrowsershare

Image: Adobe

The promotion of combined stats is smart. We live in a world where the boundaries between the regular ‘web’ and ‘mobile web’ is less distinct.

Most websites are now responsive; technologies, UI, features and APIs shared; and with iCloud and Google Sync what we start reading on our phones we can pick up straight away at our desks.

Separate Stats

Purists may prefer to see individual stats, and the ADI report also offers these. Excluding mobile to show desktop usage alone, the report reaffirms Internet Explorer as the most popular desktop browser in the states:

  • Internet Explorer (desktop only) 43.3%
  • Chrome (desktop only) 30.6%
  • Firefox (desktop only) 12.5%
  • Safari (desktop only) 10.3%

The figure may look healthy but it hides the fact that, month-on-month, year-on-year, IE’s share shrinks at the expense of Chrome and Safari.

Exclusively mobile, the cliché that iOS users spend more time on the web than Android users appears to hold:

  • Safari (mobile only) 59.1%
  • Android Browser (mobile only) 20.3%
  • Chrome (mobile only) 14.3%
  • Internet Explorer (mobile only) 1.8%

Findings are only good as the data they’re drawn from. In this case the data seems comprehensive enough for its conclusions to be worth attention.

You can read the full breakdown of stats on the CMO website. 

  • Areen

    Android Browser is not a Chrome…

    • Brennen Raimer

      why does google bother maintaining two browsers on Android?

      • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

        Because Chrome is closed source whereas the default Android browser is open-source. I predict that the stock Android browser will be replaced by Chromium, considering it’s already using Chrome’s Blink engine as of Android 4.4 KitKat; but for the time being, the default Android browser is just a shell for the Blink engine, meaning the browser itself doesn’t need much maintaining in the AOSP source.

        • Brennen Raimer

          Chrome is open-source chromium with closed-source auto-updater, flash, and pdf plugins added. I don’t think any of those later things are even in the mobile version

          • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

            So it may as well be Chromium.

          • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

            Oh, the icon and branding are trademarked.

  • toddh

    I’ve seen so many of these analyses, claiming which browser has the most share, and this one seems to be the best of the lot. I’ve seen some crazy ones that say that Chrome was around 70% on the desktop, and that just doesn’t make sense with all the older, corporate IE-using computers out there.

  • Mr Torch

    I’m shocked that so many people still use IE, I get that lots of corporations use Windows, but the top IT executives will know that Chrome, Firefox and Opera wipe the floor with IE in terms of security and extensions.

  • MarkG54321

    I’m one of the 2% that usese Opera, as it fits my needs far better than any other browser, and these days it’s based on Chromium anyway.