Do you remember the days of Internet Explorer? That blue “E” on the task bar was the ubiquitous symbol for Internet connectivity. For many of us, it seemed like the only option for browsing the wonderful world of the web. Of course, most of us have left behind this naive idea that only one browser is capable of effectively delivering content to our computers and mobile devices, and this trend is reflected in recent statistics complied by NetMarketShare.
While Internet Explorer is surprisingly still the most popular browser, it has ceased to dominate the market. With market share for desktop computers at (only) 52.36%, the mammoth browser is losing ground to more innovative technology. Firefox and Google Chrome are right on IE’s heels at 22.52% and 17.52% respectively. Although neither can threaten IE’s 53% share, both are growing while IE continues to falter.
The truly telling statistics in this bunch are the numbers for mobile browser usage. Here, Apple’s influence is felt: Safari claims a 62.03% share, while the Android Browser is still far behind at 18.60%. In light of iOS’s 61.50% market share, this statistic is not surprising.
The moral of the story? The first browser to create a product that works well in both desktop and mobile world is going to have a huge advantage over both Firefox and Chrome, which only are popular in the desktop world, and Safari, which is only popular in the mobile world.
Many mobile browsers now have a “read later” feature. If this feature were integrated with the desktop version of the browser, there would be an incentive for users to rely on only one browser for all of their Internet needs. Users could mark a website to “read later” on their tablet, and then have the ability to access this website on their desktop, or vice versa. The first browser to take advantage of this technology is going to dominate the market. It’s just a question of which company will figure this out first.