Google Chrome held 18.7% share of the US browser market in December 2011, representing a 50% increase from 12.4% a year earlier, and challenging Firefox, which dropped to 20.1% share from 26.9%, for the second rank, according to December 2011 figures from StatCounter. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer remained the top browser with 48.3% market share in December 2011, unchanged from a year earlier. Rounding out the top 5 were Safari (11.5%) and Opera (0.5%).
Chrome Overtakes Firefox Worldwide
When examining the data on a global basis, StatCounter finds that Chrome surpassed Firefox for the second rank in November 2011, ending the year with 27.3% of the global market share, ahead of Firefox’s 25.3%. In December 2010, Chrome accounted for just 14.8% share, less than half that of Firefox (30.8%).
Although Internet Explorer retained the top ranking worldwide, its share has gradually dropped, falling from 46.9% in December 2010 to 38.7% in December 2011. In fact, in the last full week of November 2011, Google’s Chrome 15 became the most popular web browser version worldwide for the first time on a weekly basis, taking 23.6% of the market compared to Internet Explorer 8, at 23.5%.
According to Net Applications, though, Firefox remained in the second position in December 2011 with 21.8% market share, ahead of Chrome, which ended the year at 19.1% share, up from roughly 10% in December 2010. Net Applications data also shows Internet Explorer retaining more than half of the market, at 51.9%.
Safari Stays Tops in Mobile
iOS’s Safari kept its ranking as the top platform for mobile browsing in December 2011, with 52.1% market share, according to Net Applications, although its share was down from 54% in November and 61% in October. Google’s Android browser ended 2011 in the third spot with 16.3% share, also a dip from the prior 2 months, while Java ME took the second rank with 21.3% share.
The iPhone held 25% share of all mobile browsing, slightly ahead of the iPad (24%), with Java ME also not far behind (21%). Android 2.3 accounted for 9% of all mobile browsing for the month.