Menu
Mobile browser usage share hits 20% for the first time

Mobile browser usage share hits 20% for the first time

Traditional PCs continue to give up ground to smartphones and tablets

Mobile devices generated 20% of the world's browsing activity last month, the first time that the surging category reached the 1-in-5 milestone, according to a Web analytics company.

Dublin-based StatCounter pegged November's mobile browser usage share -- a tally of website pages viewed, and thus a measurement of online activity -- at 20%, with personal computers accounting for the remaining 80%.

In the last 12 months, mobile's global usage share grew by 7 percentage points, representing a 53% annual increase.

Mobile's browsing growth is in part a side effect of a global slump in personal computer sales as customers instead purchase smartphones and tablets, and as a result, shift their time spent online from PCs to mobile. For the year, personal computer shipments will be more than 10% lower than the year before, when shipments contracted by a then-historic 4% compared to 2011.

Usage share gains for mobile have come at the expense of what StatCounter defines as "desktop," a category that includes both desktop and notebook PCs, primary powered by Microsoft's Windows, and Macs running Apple's OS X. Desktop browser usage dropped 2 percentage points to 80% in the last three months, and fell 7 points in the last 12.

In September 2009, when Computerworld began tracking mobile browser usage -- seven months before Apple started selling its first iPad -- desktop controlled 98.9% of the usage total, according to StatCounter.

Net Applications, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based rival to StatCounter, also tracks desktop and mobile browsing, but uses a different methodology that essentially counts individual users, not online activity.

By Net Applications' measurement, 13.2% of all unique visitors to its clients' websites did so using a smartphone or tablet. Computerworld labels Net Applications' numbers user share to differentiate them from StatCounter's.

Personal computers accounted for 86.2% of the global browser user share for November by Net Applications' tally.

Not surprisingly, browser makers have jumped on the mobile bandwagon. Nearly 60% of Apple's November user share, as defined by Net Applications, was generated by the iOS version of Safari, for example, while 20% of Google's user share came from its stock Android browser and the newer Chrome on that mobile operating system.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's mobile version of Internet Explorer (IE) accounted for less than half of one percent of IE's total user share.

Mobile browsing reached the 20% usage share mark in November, an increase of more than 50% over the past 12 months. (Data: StatCounter.)

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleMicrosoftinternetmobile apps

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments