Browser Wars: Who dominated the market in 2015?

Chrome? Safari? Firefox? Which Browser dominated the market in 2015? We looked at the numbers to see how well the top browsers did in each region and worldwide.

The internet population in the browser market has exploded in the past 20 years. In 1995 less than 1% of the world’s population was online. Today, over 40% are, or roughly 3.2 billion people. We were curious just how all of these people were getting online to access their facebook, bank accounts, email, news websites, and a plethora of other content. With over 960 million websites and growing, these people have a lot of options of where to spend their online time. So we wanted to look at those most important gateways that help us navigate the depths of the web: Internet Browsers.

The browser has evolved from something requiring a dial up connection into a personalized vessel for adventuring online. Internet Explorer used to reign supreme, but its influence has declined over the past decade with the release of Firefox (2004) and Google Chrome (2008). In 2016 Microsoft will effectively be replacing Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 operating systems.

So for 2015, who won this year’s browser wars? We looked at each region from January of this year through December to see what browsers people were using. Some of the interesting things we found were…

Google Chrome is at the top

Google Chrome was at the top spot for every region, beating out the #2 spot by as much as 50% sometimes. The highest saturation of Google Chrome is in South America, where it is used by a staggering 69.56% of people. Even on its lowest end in North America it still makes up 40.50% of the browser market. Worldwide, 50.84% of people use Google Chrome as their primary browser.

Internet Explorer is hanging in there

In many regions, Internet Explorer still ranks as the #2 web browser behind Google Chrome. Still, the numbers have been dwindling since the early 2000s. For 2015, the highest user base was found in North America, with 23.77%. Worldwide, Internet Explorer ranks in at #2 with a global browser market share of 17.42%.

Firefox is favored in Europe and Africa

Internet Explorer has managed to beat out Firefox in several locations, but the areas where Firefox is being used more is in Europe and Africa. It has 22.27% of the European market and 26.77% of the African market. In other regions it ranks third behind Chrom and Internet Explorer (Except for Oceania, where it was beat out by Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari for the top three. Worldwide Firefox comes in at #3 in the browser market with a global share of 16.12%

Safari ranks fairly low

Apple Inc. is one of the great success stories in the tech industry. In 1982, stock in the company was valued at just $0.82 a share. As of May 2015, those shares are worth $132.54.  Despite global lifetime sales of iPhone, iPad, and Mac reaching over 1.1 billion, Apple’s web browser Safari still makes up a small percentage of the global  browser  market. This could be due to a larger percentage of people owning PCs, Android, and Windows based devices, and it could also be people choosing to download other web browsers onto their Apple products. Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the other countries of Oceania make up the largest concentration of Safari users at 21.39%. Incidentally, this region is the only one where Safari makes it into the top 3. Worldwide, Safari is used by about 9.93% of people.

What could the future hold?

Google Chrome has a large stronghold on the web browser market, but browsers like Safari and Firefox still have room to grow. At the moment, Androids are outselling iPhones 5 to 1. In the second quarter of 2015 Android devices held a market share of 82.2%, whereas iOS held only 14.6%. Because the default browser on Android is Google Chrome, and the default browser on iOS is Safari, this leads to the high browser market share percentages that we’re seeing for Chrome. If Apple is able to increase their sales for future iPhone and iPad devices and entice people to use their browser, we could see them holding a larger share of the browser market into 2016 and beyond.

Relevant Sources:
Internet Live Stat
Stat Counter
Statistic Brain
Information Week
The Verge

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